Ellen DeGeneres may be ending her talk show next year, but she isn’t planning on going into the long goodnight without sharing a few words.
Speaking on Today with Savanna Guthrie, DeGeneres addressed the allegations that were leveled against ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ last year, where several members of the staff labelled the workplace environment as “toxic”.
DeGeneres said she was surprised by the allegations but that wasn’t the reason for her to end her 19-season reign on TV.
“I mean, I really don’t understand it. I still don’t understand it,” DeGeneres said. “It was too orchestrated. It was too coordinated. And you know, people get picked on, but for four months straight for me, and then for me to read in the press about a toxic work environment when all I have ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is and what a happy place it is.”
DeGeneres said she felt she was “being cancelled” following the social media backlash that followed.
News of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ ending its run comes months after an internal investigation was conducted by Warner Bros. following the allegations that saw several longtime executive producers ousted and staff changes made to the show.
Yet, despite the negativity that followed her, DeGeneres was quick to point out that wasn’t the reason to call it quits. “If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year. I really did think about not coming back. It was devastating. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy. I just kept saying to Portia [de Rossi] if I was a fan of somebody, and even though I loved them I would think there must be some truth to it because it is not stopping. And then right on the heels of that I hear that there is a toxic work environment, which I had no idea, never saw anything that would even point to that.”
DeGeneres also denied knowing anything was happening on the sets. “I don’t know how I could have known when there is 255 employees here, and there are a lot of different buildings, unless I literally stayed here until the last people goes home at night. It is my name on the show, so clearly it affects me, and I have to be the one to stand up and say, this can’t be tolerated. But I do wish somebody would have come to me and said, ‘Hey, there is something that you should know about.’”
“And also I have to say — if nobody else was saying it — it was really interesting because I’m a woman, and it did feel very misogynistic,” she added.
‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ which started airing in 2003 and is distributed by Warner Bros., has a mix of dancing, games and giveaways along with A-list celebrities, which have included the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Miley Cyrus, the Obamas and more.