Ellen DeGeneres has decided to end her daytime talk show after its 19th season, following falling ratings and allegations of sexual misconduct against her staff.
Ellen DeGeneres, 63, made the news public on Wednesday, discussing the decision with the Hollywood Reporter. She said, “I’m a creative person, and when you’re a creative person you constantly need to be challenged...And as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore. I need something new to challenge me.”
Ellen originally wanted to end the show after season 16 and move on to other interests, but was persuaded to sign another three-year deal. The show was scheduled to end with season 19 (2021-2022), even before the scandal and the falling ratings happened.
Addressing the scandal surrounding her show the past year, Ellen said, “With the talk show, all I cared about was spreading kindness and compassion and everything I stand for was being attacked. So, it destroyed me, honestly. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t...there are allegations of a toxic workplace and, unfortunately, I learned that through the press. And at first, I didn’t believe it because I know how happy everybody is here and how every guest talks about, ‘Man, you have a great place here. Of all the talk shows I’ve done, everyone here is so happy.’ That’s all I’ve ever heard.”
After allegations of a toxic work environment, bullying, and sexual misconduct from current and former employees came to light in July 2020, WarnerMedia conducted an investigation. Producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman were fired in August.
During this time Ellen sent her staff a memo, writing, “On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't. That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
Since the scandal, the show has lost viewers, in some cities as much as 59% of the former audience. Since the beginning of the 18th season in September 2020, the show has retained only 57% of its audience from the previous season.
Ellen DeGeneres will sit down with Oprah Winfrey today to discuss ending her Emmy-award winning show.