PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Ellen DeGeneres looks emotional as she emerges for the first time since deciding to end her talk show… but STILL insists toxic claims are ‘stupid’ and she ‘didn’t deserve’ backlash
- Ellen DeGeneres is ending her talk show after 19 seasons and more than 3,000 episodes, DailyMail.com revealed on Wednesday
- In exclusive pictures, DeGeneres is seen for the first time since news broke in her hometown of Montecito, California
- A source close to the host told DailyMail.com,’ She has had enough and told her team that she’s done’
- Ellen later confirmed the news herself in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter where she called some of the claims ‘stupid’
- ‘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,’ she said
Ellen DeGeneres has been pictured for the first time since DailyMail.com revealed the embattled host has ended her talk show after 19 seasons and more than 3,000 episodes, following the toxic workplace scandal last year.
DeGeneres, 63, who appeared emotional as she was seen driving around her hometown of Montecito, California on Tuesday, later confirmed the news herself in a statement.
‘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 said, after plummeting ratings were partly blamed for the show’s ending.
However, the TV star also appeared to dismiss some of the more serious allegations she faced last year as ‘stupid’ and that she ‘didn’t deserve’ the backlash in a Wednesday interview about the news.
End of the road: Ellen DeGeneres, 63, is pictured in her hometown of Montecito, CA, as DailyMail.com revealed the host would be ending her talk show after 19 seasons
‘When it started, with that stupid “someone couldn’t look me in the eye” or whatever the first thing was, it’s like a crest of a wave,’ she told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘Like, “This isn’t going to be that big of a wave.” And then it just keeps getting bigger and bigger until it was out of control.’
‘And I really, honestly, felt like, “I don’t deserve this. I don’t need this. I know who I am. I’m a good person.” And I was sitting back going, “If I was someone watching this, I would think, ‘Well, there must be some truth to it because it’s not stopping.'”
She added: ‘I started saying “be kind to one another” because I really believe people should be kind to one another and so it was easy clickbait to say, “Oh, the be kind lady isn’t so kind.” I am kind. I’m also a woman and I’m a boss.’
Done and dusted: DeGeneres, 63, who was dressed casually as she drove around her hometown of Montecito, California, on Tuesday, confirmed the news herself in a statement
DeGeneres also stated in the interview that it was better she spoke now, and didn’t address this last summer ‘because I was so hurt and so angry’ over the claims.
The wife of Portia de Rossi talked about struggling with anxiety and depression and that she’s not ‘super smiley’ but that her intention ‘is never to hurt anyone.’
DailyMail.com broke the news on Wednesday that Ellen was expected to make the announcement with a source saying it because she ‘has had enough and told her team that she’s done.’
‘She’s promised one more season after this one and will exit at the end of the 2021/2022 season – the 19th season of the show.’ they said. ‘The ratings have tanked and have been truly appalling this year and Ellen knows her time is up.’
Off she goes: A source close to the host told DailyMail.com,’ She has had enough and told her team that she’s done’
Casual: The host was seen chatting to a passer by as she got in her sports car on Tuesday
Breaking the news: Ellen told her staff of the show’s ending on Tuesday and will discuss the news on Thursday’s show with Oprah Winfrey
Ducking out: Ellen told THR that she felt she ‘didn’t deserve’ the backlash she faced
The show’s end comes after several former and current employees accused Ellen, 63, of fostering a toxic work environment last year and turning a blind eye to bullying by executives.
Ellen told her staff of the show’s ending on Tuesday and will discuss the news on Thursday’s show with Oprah Winfrey.
Our source said, ‘The show has bled viewers since the toxic environment around Ellen and her show was made public.’
The ratings for total households from February 2020 to February 2021 were down 40% in New York City and Chicago; in Los Angeles she’s lost 59% of viewers.
In Philly ratings in the same time period were down 32% and in San Francisco she lost 50% of viewers.
Since its season premiere in September, the show garnered an average of 1.5 million viewers by March – down 1.1 million from the same time-frame a year ago, which had 2.6 million average viewers.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show got off to a strong ratings start last fall in her 18th season premiere when she addressed the scandal, but has seen a swift decline in the months since.
Ellen DeGeneres is ending her talk show after 19 seasons and more than 3,000 episodes, DailyMail.com can reveal
‘I learned that things happen here that never should have happened,’ Ellen said in her season premiere. ‘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, and I realize that with that comes responsibility. I take responsibility for what happens at my show.’
‘This is me and my intention is to always be the best person I can be, and if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that,’ she said. ‘If that’s ever the case, I’ve let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well because I always try to grow as a person.
‘I look at everything that comes into my life as an opportunity to learn. I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good, that’s my favorite thing to do.’
A source close to the host tells DailyMail.com,’ She has had enough and told her team that she’s done’
Executive producers (left to right) Jonathan Norman, Kevin Lenman and Ed Glavin were accused by over 30 former employees of sexual misconduct and were all fired
The claims of Ellen’s toxic work environment were revealed in July 2020 by one current and 10 former employees of the daytime talk show who accused three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of ‘bullying.’
Executive producers Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were all fired from the popular talk show following the accusations leveled against them by current and former staffers.
Ellen came out with an apology after it was announced that her show was subject to a probe by WarnerMedia which looked into ‘staff experiences on set’.
The host sent her staff a memo in which she wrote she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees.
‘On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry,’ Ellen said in the memo.
‘As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t,’ she added. ‘That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.’
Among the allegations was one made by a Black woman who claimed she suffered a number of ‘microaggressions,’ her request for a raise was ignored and she was accused of ‘walking around looking resentful and angry’ after asking for staff members to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee alleged they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.
A popular claim that circulated is that staff members were instructed not to speak to Ellen.
Some claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Ellen got off to a strong ratings start last fall in her 18th season season premiere when she addressed the scandal, but has seen a swift decline in the months since
In addition to these claims, the show was rocked again when three dozen employees of the daytime talk show alleged that senior executives who work behind the scenes groped and kissed staffers, solicited one of them for oral sex, and were ‘handsy with women.’
Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, is alleged to have ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him.
Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague.
And Ed Glavin, an executive producer, allegedly ‘had a reputation for being handsy with women,’ according to former employees.
The former staffers told BuzzFeed News that they believe the host knew that several of her senior showrunners and producers were alleged to have committed sexual misconduct against junior-level employees.
BULLYING, RACISM AND A ‘TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT’: THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ELLEN
Ten former and one current member of Ellen’s staff alleged they were bullied, fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave, while one woman claimed to have walked off the job after facing comments about her race.
‘That ‘be kind’ bulls*** only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,’ one anonymous staff member said.
Staff said they were told not to talk to DeGeneres herself while she was on set, and that the day-to-day running of the show was left to producers.
The employees said they did not have first-hand experience of DeGeneres being unpleasant, but said she needs to take more responsibility for how her employees are treated.
However, allegations have mounted from other sources against the host herself – sparked by a Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter
Calling DeGeneres ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’, he asked people for ‘the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean’.
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw Porter give $600 to an LA foodbank, after promising to donate $2 for every legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Separately, security worker Tom Majercak – who was assigned to be Ellen’s bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars – said she was ‘sly’ and ‘demeaning’ to him.
‘Ellen is the one person that I’ve been assigned to – and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities – that has never taken the time to say hi to me,’ he said.
‘She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society.’
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