TV | May 12, 2021 4:25 pm

Ellen DeGeneres to End Her Talk Show After 19 Seasons

The daytime talk show is "just not a challenge anymore," the host said.

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

After a few rough years marked by controversy and low ratings, Ellen DeGeneres announced on Wednesday that she will end her daytime talk show after its upcoming 19th season.

The host, whose schtick was often centered around being “kind,” was called out in 2019 after she was pictured hanging out with her friend George W. Bush and again last year after a bombshell article revealed her show’s toxic work environment. Employees were allegedly prohibited from looking her directly in the eyes or taking time off from work to attend doctor’s appointments, and several producers on the show were accused of sexual misconduct. Since then, Ellen‘s ratings have tanked, and the show has lost over one million viewers. But DeGeneres claims she’s stepping away because the gig is no longer challenging to her.

 “I’m a creative person, and when you’re a creative person you constantly need to be challenged, which is why I decided to host the Oscars or why I decided to go back to stand-up when I didn’t think I would,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “I just needed something to challenge me. And as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore. I need something new to challenge me.”

Still, you’re probably thinking, why wouldn’t she just stick around for one more season to make it an even 20? She’s got an answer for that too.

“I was going to stop after season 16,” DeGeneres explained. “That was going to be my last season, and they wanted to sign for four more years and I said I’d sign 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.”

Okay! So there you have it: DeGeneres is ending her show because she wanted to and definitely not because of the many highly publicized scandals that have decimated her ratings and poked a hole in her persona. The host also briefly mentioned the toxic workplace allegations and danced around the idea that — you’ll never guess — cancel culture is to blame. Oh boy.

“There was an internal investigation, obviously, and we learned some things, but this culture we’re living is [is one where] no one can make mistakes,” she said. “And I don’t want to generalize because there are some bad people out there and those people shouldn’t work again, but in general, the culture today is one where you can’t learn and grow, which is, as human beings, what we’re here to do. And I can see people looking at that going, ‘You don’t care about what people [went through].’ I care tremendously. It broke my heart when I learned that people here had anything other than a fantastic experience — that people were hurt in any way.”