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10th Jul 2024

Ellen DeGeneres says she’s done with showbiz after ‘toxic’ accusations

Ryan Price

The comedian’s long-running daytime talk show aired its final episode in 2022.

Ellen DeGeneres has declared that she is “done” with showbusiness and will step away from the public eye after her new Netflix special.

The 66-year-old’s career has been shrouded in controversy in recent years after she faced allegations of fostering a “toxic” work environment while hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show which ran from 2003 to 2022.

While on stage in Santa Rosa, California as part of her farewell/comeback tour Ellen’s Last Stand…Up, the 33-time Emmy winner told the crowd: “Thank you for still caring!”

“Let me catch you up on what’s been going on with me since you last saw me,” she said, followed by a long pause with knowing laughs from the audience. “I got chickens.”

According to SF Gate, she continued: “Oh yeah, and I got kicked out of show business for being mean.”

“I used to say, ‘I don’t care what people say about me.’ Now I realize I said that during the height of my popularity. Next time, I’ll be kicked out for being old. Old, gay and mean, the triple crown,” she joked.

“I am many things, but I am not mean,” she added. One eager fan asked: “Will we see you on Broadway or movies?” asked one eager fan. “Um, no,” answered Ellen simply. “This is the last time you’re going to see me. After my Netflix special, I’m done.”

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 08: Ellen Degeneres hosts ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’ Season 13 Bi-Coastal Premiere at Rockefeller Center on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

A crippling 2020 Buzzfeed report revealed that DeGeneres’ feel-good talk show with it’s ‘be kind’ mantra was a cover for a much more unhealthy and pernicious workplace culture.

Several employees came forward to whistleblow an environment of racism, fear, and intimidation behind the scenes, allegations which eventually led to the two-decade show getting cancelled.

One former employee described how they took medical leave for one month to check into a mental health facility for a suicide attempt. But the week they returned to work, they were told their position was being eliminated.

A Black employee referenced an incident at a work party where one of the main writers told her: “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here,” and other coworkers “awkwardly laughed it off” instead of coming to her defense.

By August 2020, WarnerMedia had launched an internal investigation, Ellen had issued a formal apology to her 255 employees, and executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman were all fired from the show.

DeGeneres – who also apologized to fans on air – broadcast her final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 26, 2022 after 19 seasons.

Her comedy special is coming out later this year. It will be her second Netflix special, following 2018’s Relatable.