Ellen DeGeneres speaks out about ending her daytime talk show: 'My instinct told me it's time'
"Today, I'm announcing that next season, season 19, is going to be my last season," the comedian and host said in her opening monologue Wednesday. "So, the past 18 years, you have to know, has changed my life. You all have changed my life and 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. Thank you."
Explaining her decision to call it quits, DeGeneres continued, "Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years, and I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last… You may wonder why I've decided to end after 19 seasons. 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 have felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter."
The news comes a year after controversy broke out from behind the scenes. In 2020, a BuzzFeed News article detailed allegations of a toxic work environment on the set from one current and 10 former employees. A subsequent report laid out claims from 36 anonymous former workers of "harassment, sexual misconduct, and assault from top producers."
An investigation into the claims ensued and three executives left the show. DeGeneres apologized to her current staff multiple times and suggested that her "introverted" nature could've been misinterpreted as not being nice.
DeGeneres returned to her show in September and addressed the reports with her audience.
"As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show," she said. "And then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. 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. I realized that with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show."
The Ellen DeGeneres Show lost 1.1 million viewers after the allegations, according to The New York Times.
DeGeneres already has other projects in the works, including four series for HBO Max.