Ellen Says Backlash Is Not Behind Show Ending: 'I Would Not Have Come Back'

As you've likely heard by now, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is coming to an end.

After over 3,000 episodes and 85 award wins, DeGeneres confirmed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the upcoming 19th season of the massive daytime success will be its last.

And while hints that this end was coming were in the air since at least 2018, this decision coincides with the ongoing fallout of the allegations suggesting DeGeneres was presiding over a hostile work environment that came to a head last summer.

However, in a recent interview with Today, DeGeneres maintained that the timing is indeed a coincidence.

Speaking to Today's Savannah Guthrie, DeGeneres confirmed that the workplace controversy was not a factor in her decision to end the show, saying, "If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year."

That said, she did admit that she had contemplated not returning for the show's 18th season after the allegations against her entered the public eye.

In her words, "I really did think about not coming back, because it was devastating. It started with attacks on me and attacking everything that I stand for and believe in and built my career around ... I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy."

DeGeneres also told Guthrie that she had no idea her employees were being mistreated until she read about it in news reports.

She also argued that it wasn't reasonable to expect her to know about the actions of her producers.

As she said, "I don't know how I could have known when there's 225 employees here and there are a lot of different buildings. Unless I actually stayed here until that last person goes home at night."

Although the premiere for the show's 18th season in which she addressed the controversy was her most-watched premiere in four years, ratings plummeted after that.

According to The New York Times, the show lost over 1 million viewers in the six months that followed as Nielsen put the average over that time period at 1.5 million viewers compared to 2.6 million in 2019.

This drop resulted in a 20% decline in ad revenue for the program and serves as an extreme example of an overall downward trend in talk show ratings.

As DeGeneres said, "It's more for this one because we had further to fall."

However, DeGeneres maintained this ratings dip also didn't influence the timing of the show's ending.

She told Guthrie, "As you said, everything in television is down. It's got nothing to do with why I'm leaving. If I was having fun, I would do this show with nobody watching. So it's got nothing to do with that."

Instead, it seems she's standing by her previous assertion that The Ellen DeGeneres Show simply wasn't creatively challenging for her anymore and hasn't been for several years now.

h/t: Today

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