Ellen DeGeneres Discusses Ending Talk Show, Allegations Against Her

Ellen DeGeneres
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Following the news that The Ellen DeGeneres Show is soon to be no more, the TV host is opening up about her decision to end the long-running talk show next year.

“Today I’m announcing that next season, season 19 is going to be my last season,” DeGeneres said at the top of Thursday’s pre-recorded show. “The past 18 years has changed my life. You all have changed my life. 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.”

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DeGeneres went on to say that this decision is something she has been contemplating for a while. “Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years. I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last,” she explained. “The truth is I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it’s time… I truly felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter.”

The award-winning comedian compared the moment to another significant career decision she made back in 1997 when she came out as lesbian in an episode of her ABC sitcom Ellen. “In 1997, I knew it was time to come out on my sitcom and live my truth,” she explained.

“Back then, I had a vivid dream that a bird flew out of a cage and set itself free because it needed to get out of the cage. Recently I had a dream that a beautiful bird with bright red feathers whispered to me, ‘You can still do stuff on Netflix.’ And that was the sign I was looking for.”

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The news comes following recent allegations against The Ellen DeGeneres Show for inappropriate behavior behind the scenes. Former employees have claimed that there was a toxic working environment on the set of the show. DeGeneres responded to the accusations last year, stating, “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say I’m so sorry to the people who were affected.”

Speaking with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, DeGeneres touched on the accusations, stating that she is still surprised by the situation but that it isn’t the reason she is ending her show. “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,” she said.

“I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy” she continued. “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.”

As for who will take over the talk show hosting duties when DeGeneres steps aside, Page Six is reporting that Tiffany Haddish is lined up for the role. “Tiffany is a favorite; she has humor and empathy in spades,” a senior NBCUniversal source told the publication. “She’s top of the list to get a daytime show—she’s a fresh voice.”

The Girls Trip star has filled in for DeGeneres in the past and so already has experience in the hot seat. That said, DeGeneres owns the rights to her show, so Haddish’s version would have to be a fresh format.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Weekdays, Check your local listings