After 19 seasons, Ellen DeGeneres is calling it quits. The actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host is pulling the plug on The Ellen DeGeneres show, which had been beset by cratering ratings and accusations of a toxic working environment filled with bullying, racism, and more. DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter she was looking for new challenges, while an inside source told the Daily Mail bad publicity, poor ratings, and that toxic work environment were the real reason for the show’s cancellation.
“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,” DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter earlier today.
“Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that truly great things never will,” Mike Darnell, unscripted television president at Warner Brothers, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“'The ratings have tanked and have been truly appalling this year and Ellen knows her time is up,” an unnamed inside source told the Daily Mail, adding “the show has bled viewers since the toxic environment around Ellen and her show was made public.”
DeGeneres and the show were the subject of controversy after multiple reports surfaced about the allegedly hostile environment and bullying that occurred backstage. Ratings were down across the country, losing 40 percent of her viewers in New York City and Chicago from February 2021 to February 2021, and an astounding 59 percent of viewers in Los Angeles over the same period.
The veteran actor, who also appeared in her own sitcom named Ellen from 1994 to 1998, issued an apology shortly after reports surfaced of bullying, harassment, intimidation, and racism on the set and backstage.
“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres said last year. “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that every seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
Despite her promises and apologies, DeGeneres later seemed to pass the buck, saying that due to the exponential growth of the show, she had “not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs” the way she had wanted.
DeGeneres is slated to sit down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss it all on the show Thursday, May 13. The series is set to end in 2022 with season 19.