Posing as a victim, Ellen DeGeneres walked past allegations of promoting a toxic workplace on Thursday while giving interviews with Oprah Winfrey and “creative” reasons for ending her long-running daytime show TODAYSavannah Guthrie.
She also insisted she not quit the show because of her tanking ratings or the widespread backlash against her, which she described as “too orchestrated”.
“If I had quit because of that, I would not have come back this year,” she said to Guthrie Thursday morning, repeating her words in an earlier interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
DeGeneres welcomed Winfrey to their show for a friendly chat on Thursday, during which the couple discussed Ellen’s decision to end The Ellen DeGeneres Show after 19 seasons the next year. DeGeneres also appeared earlier in the day TODAY, which airs on the same NBC network as their own show.
She insisted in both interviews that she leave her show because it is no longer a creative “challenge”. She also denied allegations that she was a toxic boss, did not talk about her reviews and claimed the backlash against her was “misogynist,” “orchestrated,” and “coordinated.”
“I have to say – if no one else said it – it was really interesting because I’m a woman and it felt very misogynistic,” she said to Guthrie TODAY. “It started by attacking me and attacking everything I stand for and believe in and built my career.
“I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy. “
Winfrey, who is friends with DeGeneres, did not address the toxic allegations in the workplace in his chat The Ellen Show. Instead, she welcomed DeGeneres for choosing to wrap up the show with a final season.
“I’m proud of you for trusting your instincts,” said Oprah. She also spoke at length about how TV presenters view their employees as “family”.
“I love everyone here,” DeGeneres said before citing her as the reason for her next season. “I wanted to give them a year,” she said.
Mike Darnell, president of non-written television at Warner Bros., confirmed the show’s demise in a statement earlier this week.
“Even though all good things have to end, you still have to hope that really big things never will,” he said.
DeGeneres started her talk show in 2003 and built her personal brand as a “be kind lady”. The show focused on upbeat interviews, dance, and kind acts.
Many pissed off her last year in a number of damn reports of her behavior behind the scenes, including a plan to cut employee salaries at the start of the pandemic. The reports reiterated some longstanding claims that DeGeneres was notoriously bilateral and “mean” behind the scenes.
Several former employees told BuzzFeed last summer that they had been fired for mourning or medical leave and that they were instructed not to speak to DeGeneres or look her in the eye on set. Current and former employees also reported being exposed to intimidation, racism and fear under her every day.
In a separate report, dozens of men and women accused three producers of sexual misconduct. These producers were later fired.
DeGeneres lost a million regular viewers last fall after making goddamn headlines apologizing for her summer on the air.
On Thursday, DeGeneres claimed she “had no idea” that there were problems on her show until she read about them in the media. She also described the response to the allegations in the workplace as personal attacks against her.
“I don’t know how I could have known when there are 225 people here and there are many different buildings,” she said to Guthrie. “Unless I actually stayed here until that last person goes home at night.”
She also cited the glowing reviews from her celebrity guests, who she said often praised the “happy atmosphere” on the show.
“If something comes back to me that I know is wrong, I could do one or two of these shots, but four months in a row have been tough,” she said TODAY.
She added that she is proud of her work on the show and “proud of the people who work here, who hold on to and support me”.
DeGeneres’ show ends with the conclusion of its 19th season next year. At this point, your contract with WarnerMedia will also expire.