Ellen DeGeneres is hanging up her dancing shoes.
The talk show host has announced that she’s ending her show with the upcoming nineteenth season in 2022.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, she told her staff on May 11, and will chat about her decision on her May 13th show with special guest Oprah Winfrey.
"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 told The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive interview.
DeGeneres, 63, and her show have come under increased fire in the last year, with Variety publishing a report in April 2020 about crew members being frustrated by pandemic-based pay reductions and poor treatment, and Buzzfeed publishing interviews in July 2020 with employees alleging a toxic workplace.
The talk show host said she’d first learned about the allegations from the press and blamed her executive team. Executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were then fired.
DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter that the controversy did not contribute to her decision to leave. “It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season.”
Despite insisting the bad press wasn’t the reason for her ending the show, DeGeneres seemed to blame “cancel culture,” telling The Hollywood Reporter, "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. 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."
Plummeting ratings may have also played a part in her decision to end the show. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has lost more than 1 million viewers since the toxic workplace reports.