Talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres is reportedly planning to end her long-running daytime show next season as she deals with plummeting ratings and continued fallout from her show’s workplace misconduct scandal. The Hollywood Reporter said DeGeneres will exit at the end of the 2021-22 season.
The outlet said DeGeneres is expected to make the official announcement on Wednesday’s show when she is expected to sit down with 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.
Last year, The Ellen DeGeneres Show was hit by accusations of workplace misconduct, with several former employees accusing senior management of bullying behavior and sexual misconduct. DeGeneres herself wasn’t accused of anything, though some say she tolerated the toxic atmosphere.
DeGeneres denied she is ending the show because of the scandal.
“It almost impacted the show. It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very,” she told the Reporter. “But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season. So, it’s not why I’m stopping.”
Buzzfeed News reported last year that senior managers created an environment where people are mistreated and fired for taking medical leave and bereavement days.
There were also several accusations of sexual harassment, groping, and other forms of misconduct against executive producer and head writer Kevin Leman, who has denied the allegations.
The show has suffered a staggering ratings decline since the scandal broke, reportedly losing more than 1 million viewers in the current season.
DeGeneres didn’t discuss the ratings drop-off in her interview with the Reporter. Instead, she said she remains proud of the show.
“I’m not the pretty girl who made it in Hollywood because of the way I looked,” she said. “I worked from nothing to doing standup to to having this career and I’m so proud of this show. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. And so I’ll miss everything but, in my gut, I know it’s time to do something different.”