May 13, 2021
Ellen DeGeneres has decided to step away from her popular talk show after her upcoming 19th season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The longtime host announced the news to her team on Tuesday, May 11, according to the outlet
“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,” the 63-year-old said.
However, there may be a more clearcut reason: The show—which currently is in its 18th season—has suffered a ratings decline that many say is a direct result of the accusations of a “toxic workplace culture” that were leveled at DeGeneres last summer.
DeGeneres will discuss her departure in her opening monologue for her show on Thursday, May 13, The Daily Beast confirmed. The comedienne will also have Oprah Winfrey on as a guest to chat about the decision.
The news was first reported by the Daily Mail, as a source claimed the DeGeneres “knew her time is up.” “The show has bled viewers since the toxic environment around Ellen and her show was made public,” the UK-based news outlet said.
Last summer, DeGeneres faced a public reckoning over claims that she ran a toxic workplace environment—with nearly a dozen current and former employees coming forward with various accounts.
According to The Daily Best, they described racist comments made by other staffers and intimidation tactics. Some claimed they were fired from their positions after taking medical and bereavement leave.
As a result, DeGeneres’ ratings tanked, and the one-time queen of daytime talk shows found herself in an unfamiliar position. This year her audience plummeted by 1.1 million, a drastic 43% decline.
A humbled DeGeneres, who often signed off her show with the mantra “be kind,” was forced to make three apologies, one on-air, another in an email to staff, and a third in a video call.
“I learned that things happen here that never should have happened,” she said on her show last September. “I take that very seriously. And I want to say, I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power. And I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
DeGeneres claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that her abysmal ratings had nothing to do with her decision to leave, saying she originally wanted to stop doing the show in its 16th season. Instead, she was convinced to stick around for a little bit longer. “We [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That’s been the plan all along.”
Research contact: @thedailybeast