Ellen DeGeneres is opening up about the misconduct allegations made against The Ellen DeGeneres Show. After announcing Wednesday that her namesake talk show is ending after the upcoming Season 19, the comedian appeared on the Today show Thursday to discuss everything from the end of her show to what she dubbed "orchestrated" attacks against her amid the scandal.
Asked by anchor Savannah Guthrie if she felt as though she "were being canceled?" in the weeks and months after the scandal made headlines, DeGeneres said she "felt like somebody had some kind of, you know? I mean, I really didn't understand it; I still don't understand it." The talk show host, who already has an idea or two of what she will do when her talk show ends in 2022, went on to say things felt "orchestrated," telling Guthrie, "I thought I thought something was going on that that, because it was too orchestrated, it was too coordinated."
"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," she explained.
The headline-making scandal broke over the summer after several current and former staffers came forward in a July BuzzFeed News expose detailing allegations of a toxic workplace. The accusations led to WarnerMedia launching an investigation and three top producers being fired and resulted in plenty of discussions online as Ellen viewers weighed in with their thoughts.
Confirming the approaching end of Ellen Wednesday, DeGeneres further opened up about the allegations to The Hollywood Reporter. She told the outlet that with her talk show, all she "cared about was spreading kindness and compassion, and everything I stand for was being attacked." She said the allegations and accusations about her phony persona "destroyed me…I'd be lying if I said it didn't." DeGeneres said, "it broke my heart when I learned that people here had anything other than a fantastic experience — that people were hurt in any way." In the wake of the scandal, she said she now checks in "as much as I can through Zoom to different departments, and I make sure people know that if there's ever a question or ever anything, they can come to me."
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is currently airing its 18th season and is set to end after Season 19 next year after more than 3,000 episodes. Although there had been speculation the misconduct allegations would eventually lead to the show's cancellation, DeGeneres said it did not play into the decision to end the show, which had actually been made several years ago.