Ellen DeGeneres is not a woman who is done with Hollywood or even her daytime talk show, yet, but she is a woman who will not be renewing her next daytime TV contract. That means The Ellen Show will wrap after next season, which marks the end of her current contract. A day after the news she was retiring her daytime show broke, DeGeneres is on the interview circuit and talking about the last year, the bad press she’s faced, and feeling like the aftermath was “orchestrated.”
Ellen DeGeneres sat down with Savannah Guthrie on Today this week to talk about what all went down over the past year. Guthrie point-blank asked the daytime host if she felt she was being “cancelled,” to which Elllen responded:
I felt like somebody had some kind of, you know? I mean, I really didn't understand it, I still don't understand it. Yeah, I thought I thought something was going on that that, because it was too orchestrated, it was too coordinated.
What had happened earlier this year was that a report dropped intimating that things were not as copacetic as they may have seemed on The Ellen Show. Workplace mistreatment allegations came out and three producers on the show were fired after an investigation was undergone in regards to employees who had worked on the show.
In the middle of that, Ellen DeGeneres had been restlessly operating for months during the pandemic at home. Unlike hosts like Jimmy Fallon, my personal read was that she wasn’t able to adjust to the new normal of letting fans into her home life that other hosts seemingly embraced. Then, the accusations came out, accusations Ellen DeGeneres ultimately took responsibility and apologized for, but at that point the Internet had already rallied around a snarky Dakota Johnson interview and more.
Once Ellen came back to the studio, things did not settle. She did the apology rounds and celebrity guests started returning. We got some of the same in-studio spark, but the ratings quietly dropped. And they continued dropping. Today on Today, Ellen DeGeneres still seems flabbergasted about what happened.
And, you know, people get picked on but for four months straight for me, and then for me to read in the press about a toxic work environment, when, when all I've ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is, and how, what a happy place it is.
In her announcement about the show ending next season, Ellen DeGeneres did not cite the backlash online or the problems with ratings she’s been dealing with after she returned to the studio in 2020. She instead focused on her 3,000th (+) episodes and wanting “a new challenge,” which, to be fair, is not wholly unprecedented. In fact, prior to the pandemic, there had been rumors about DeGeneres wanting to retire and move on to something new. It just probably would have been better if she would have been able to go out on a ratings peak instead of whatever the end next year ultimately ends up being.