Since news of its cancellation, fans have wondered why The Ellen Show is ending and how much Ellen DeGeneres’ “toxic work environment” allegations played a part in NBC’s decision to end her talk show after 18 years.
“It’s going to be really hard on the last day, but I also know it’s time. I’m a creative person, and when you’re a creative person you constantly need to be challenged, which is why I decided to host the Oscars or why I decided to go back to stand up when I didn’t think I would,” she said. “I just needed something to challenge me.”
She continued, “It destroyed me, honestly. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. It broke my heart when I learned that people here had anything other than a fantastic experience — that people were hurt in any way.”
In an interview with Today on Thursday, May 13, Ellen opened up about allegations that she created a “toxic work environment” on the Ellen show. “I really didn’t understand it, I still don’t understand it,” Ellen said when asked if she thought she was being “cancelled.” “Yeah, I thought…I thought something was going on because it was too orchestrated, it was too coordinated.”
Ellen, who acknowledged that “people get picked on,” told Today that she felt like the treatment of her was different. “[It was] four months straight for me, and then for me to read in the press about a toxic work environment, when all I’ve ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is, and how, what a happy place it is,” she said.
As for why she’s ending her show, Ellen didn’t give a reason, but she did deny that it was because of claims that she fostered a “toxic work environment.”
“If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year,” she said. “I really did think about not coming back because…it was devastating. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy. I just kept saying to [wife] Portia [de Rossi], ‘If I was a fan of somebody and even if I loved them, I would think there must be some truth to it, because it’s not stopping.’ Right on the heels of that, I read in the press that there’s a toxic work environment, which I had no idea, never saw anything that would even point to that.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs Mondays through Fridays at 3 p.m. on NBC.
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