Ellen DeGeneres shared the news of her decision to end her long-running talk show after one more season when she delivered her show-opening monologue on Wednesday.
The 63-year-old comedian claimed she had known for years that she would end her show after it’s upcoming 19th season, despite recent controversy over her allegedly toxic work environment.
DailyMail.com revealed earlier on Wednesday that DeGeneres would be stepping down from her series after taping more than 3,000 episodes.
Farewell: Ellen DeGeneres, 63, delivered her first monologue announcing her departure from her talk show on Wednesday after DailyMail.com revealed she was ending the show
DeGeneres opened the monologue, which will be broadcast on Thursday, with the news of her departure.
‘Today I’m announcing that next season, season 19 is going to be my last season,’ she said, via People.
‘The past 18 years … has changed my life. You all have changed my life. I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing — sometimes crying. This show has been the greatest experience of my life and I owe it all to you,’ she continued.
DeGeneres added that she had ‘thought a lot about this decision’ in consultation with her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, 48.
Tearful: ‘The past 18 years … has changed my life. You all have changed my life. I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing — sometimes crying,’ she said
Not a light decision: DeGeneres added that she had ‘thought a lot about this decision’ in consultation with her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, 48
‘I sat with it for a while. I meditated on it. I talked to Portia. I talked to myself. A few times I was talking to myself and Portia thought I was talking to her. One time I was talking to Portia but she thought I was talking to myself because of the other times when I was talking to myself and she thought I was talking to her,’ she joked.
‘One time I was talking to Alexa and Siri answered, and another time I was talking to the TV and I accidentally texted my eye doctor. The point is, I need to take a break from talking.’
DeGeneres went on to claim it had always been her plan to end the series after season 19, though she didn’t address how claims that she fostered a toxic work environment and allowed her producers to bully employees might have sped up the end of her show.
‘Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years. I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last,’ she said. ‘The truth is I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it’s time. As a comedian, I’ve always understood the importance of … timing. In all seriousness, I truly felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter.’
Suspicious timing: DeGeneres claimed she always planned to end the show after season 19, though she didn’t address how claims that she fostered a toxic work environment impacted it
More to come: The former standup promised to have a ‘fantastic final season’ with ‘a lot of surprises,’ as well as ‘trips down memory lane’ to pay tribute to her loyal fans
She continued, comparing the decision to end her show amid the ongoing controversy to her decision to come out as gay while starring on her eponymous TV series in the 1990s.
‘In 1997, I knew it was time to come out on my sitcom and live my truth. Back then I had a vivid dream that a bird flew out of a cage and set itself free because it needed to get out of that cage. Recently I had a dream that a bird, a beautiful bird with bright red feathers, came to my window and whispered, “You can still do stuff on Netflix.” And that was the sign I was looking for,’ she joked.
‘Eighteen years ago, on the very first show, I said that this was gonna be a relationship. And we’re gonna continue that relationship even when this show ends. But not in this house. ‘Cause you know I love to move.’
The former standup promised to have a ‘fantastic final season’ with ‘a lot of surprises,’ as well as ‘trips down memory lane’ to pay tribute to her loyal fans.
Ellen’s final season is set to premiere on September 13 of this year.
Last one: Ellen’s final season is set to premiere on September 13 of this year
DailyMail.com previously revealed DeGeneres’s plan to leave her show.
A source close to the host told DailyMail.com that Ellen was expected to make the announcement on Wednesday because she ‘has had enough and told her team that she’s done.’
‘She’s promised one more season after this one and will exit at the end of the 2021/2022 season — the 19th season of the show,’ they continued. ‘The ratings have tanked and have been truly appalling this year and Ellen knows her time is up.’
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ellen confirmed the news and said, ‘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 show’s end comes after several former and current employees accused Ellen of fostering a toxic work environment last year and turning a blind eye to bullying by executives.
Ellen and Warner Brothers are expected to make a public announcement as early as Wednesday afternoon, according to the source.
Longevity: DailyMail.com previously revealed that DeGeneres was ending her series at taping more than 3,000 episodes; seen in 2016
Ellen told her staff of the show’s ending on Tuesday and will discuss the news on Thursday’s show with Oprah Winfrey.
Our source said, ‘The show has bled viewers since the toxic environment around Ellen and her show was made public.’
The ratings for total households from February 2020 to February 2021 were down 40% in New York City and Chicago; in Los Angeles she’s lost 59% of viewers.
In Philly ratings in the same time period were down 32% and in San Francisco she lost 50% of viewers.
Since its season premiere in September, the show garnered an average of 1.5 million viewers by March – down 1.1 million from the same time-frame a year ago, which had 2.6 million average viewers.
Not invigorating: Ellen confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter: ‘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’; seen with Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday
The Ellen DeGeneres Show got off to a strong ratings start last fall in her 18th season premiere when she addressed the scandal, but has seen a swift decline in the months since.
‘I learned that things happen here that never should have happened,’ Ellen said in her season premiere. ‘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 realize that with that comes responsibility. I take responsibility for what happens at my show.’
‘This is me and my intention is to always be the best person I can be, and if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that,’ she said. ‘If that’s ever the case, I’ve let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well because I always try to grow as a person.
‘I look at everything that comes into my life as an opportunity to learn. I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good, that’s my favorite thing to do.’
A source close to the host tells DailyMail.com,’ She has had enough and told her team that she’s done’
The claims of Ellen’s toxic work environment were revealed in July 2020 by one current and 10 former employees of the daytime talk show who accused three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of ‘bullying.’
Executive producers Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were all fired from the popular talk show following the accusations leveled against them by current and former staffers.
Ellen came out with an apology after it was announced that her show was subject to a probe by WarnerMedia which looked into ‘staff experiences on set’.
The host sent her staff a memo in which she wrote she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees.
‘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,’ Ellen said in the memo.
‘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,’ she added. ‘That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.’
Among the allegations was one made by a Black woman who claimed she suffered a number of ‘microaggressions,’ her request for a raise was ignored and she was accused of ‘walking around looking resentful and angry’ after asking for staff members to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee alleged they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.
A popular claim that circulated is that staff members were instructed not to speak to Ellen.
Some claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Ellen got off to a strong ratings start last fall in her 18th season season premiere when she addressed the scandal, but has seen a swift decline in the months since
In addition to these claims, the show was rocked again when three dozen employees of the daytime talk show alleged that senior executives who work behind the scenes groped and kissed staffers, solicited one of them for oral sex, and were ‘handsy with women.’
Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, is alleged to have ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him.
Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague.
And Ed Glavin, an executive producer, allegedly ‘had a reputation for being handsy with women,’ according to former employees.
The former staffers told BuzzFeed News that they believe the host knew that several of her senior showrunners and producers were alleged to have committed sexual misconduct against junior-level employees.
BULLYING, RACISM AND A ‘TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT’: THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ELLEN
Ten former and one current member of Ellen’s staff alleged they were bullied, fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave, while one woman claimed to have walked off the job after facing comments about her race.
‘That ‘be kind’ bulls*** only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,’ one anonymous staff member said.
Staff said they were told not to talk to DeGeneres herself while she was on set, and that the day-to-day running of the show was left to producers.
The employees said they did not have first-hand experience of DeGeneres being unpleasant, but said she needs to take more responsibility for how her employees are treated.
However, allegations have mounted from other sources against the host herself – sparked by a Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter
Calling DeGeneres ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’, he asked people for ‘the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean’.
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw Porter give $600 to an LA foodbank, after promising to donate $2 for every legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Separately, security worker Tom Majercak – who was assigned to be Ellen’s bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars – said she was ‘sly’ and ‘demeaning’ to him.
‘Ellen is the one person that I’ve been assigned to – and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities – that has never taken the time to say hi to me,’ he said.
‘She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society.’