It wasn’t the year of terrible press and tone-deaf gaffs. It wasn’t the pandemic or being diagnosed with COVID-19. It wasn’t her employees revolting en masse. It wasn’t even her ratings spiraling down the drain. It was a look. With one withering glance, Dakota Johnson brought down an empire. Ellen DeGeneres has announced that the upcoming 19th season of Ellen will be her last. Mark the date December 1, 2019 as the day the lethal blow was dealt. A year and a half later, the body has dropped. The queen of daytime TV is dead, long live Kelly Clarkson who is probably circling her time slot as we speak!
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ellen says that Ellen will wrap up in 2022. Her stated reason is that “it’s just not a challenge anymore.” And who among us, save Dakota, is going to accuse Ellen of lying to her face.
Daytime’s most recognizable face has decided her upcoming season, the show’s nineteenth, will be the last. The decision, which fell to DeGeneres, is said to have been several years in the making. She informed her staff May 11, and will sit down with longtime pal and daytime predecessor Oprah Winfrey to discuss the news on Ellen‘s May 13 show.
“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 tells The Hollywood Reporter, discussing the move publicly for the first time.
Can’t wait for Oprah to be all “are you a challenge, or are you challenged?” Ellen went on to explain why she decided to end after 19 seasons instead of rounding it out to 20. Apparently, Ellen’s been living in a prison for a long time, but it was only a matter of time before her escape tunnel was finally ready. You try digging through artisanal concrete with a silver spoon and see how long it takes to get to freedom!
I was going to stop after season 16. That was going to be my last season and they wanted to sign for four more years and I said I’d sign for maybe for one. They were saying there was no way to sign for one. “We can’t do that with the affiliates and the stations need more of a commitment.” So, we [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That’s been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, “You know, that’s going to be 19, don’t you want to just go to 20? It’s a good number.” So is 19. [Laughs]
Ellen says the allegations of cruelty and of fostering a hostile work environment did not impact her decision to end the show. She’s not one to let the bullies win. Damn unions!
It almost impacted the show. It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season. So, it’s not why I’m stopping but it was hard because I was sitting at home, it was summer, and I see a story that people have to chew gum before they talk to me and I’m like, “Okay, this is hilarious.” Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn’t stop. And I wasn’t working, so I had no platform, and I didn’t want to address it on [Twitter] and I thought if I just don’t address it, it’s going to go away because it was all so stupid.
So, it destroyed me, honestly. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. And it makes me really sad that there’s so much joy out there from negativity. It’s a culture now where there are just mean people, and it’s so foreign to me that people get joy out of that. Then, on the heels of it, there are allegations of a toxic workplace and, unfortunately, I learned that through the press.
You’ve heard of least racist, well Ellen’s the least mean. And you meanies hurt her feelings so now she has to go and do movies or something. She has “very thin skin,” you know!