We were semi-joking yesterday when we said “Ellen DeGeneres Cancels Herself, Decides To End Long-Running Talk-Show In 2022.”
Turns out, Ellen Degeneres might actually be trying to cancel herself, because that’s about the only explanation for her comments Thursday on Today.
“If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year,” DeGeneres told Guthrie. “I really did think about not coming back because…it was devastating. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy. I just kept saying to Portia [de Rossi], ‘If I was a fan of somebody and even if I loved them, I would think there must be some truth to it, because it’s not stopping.’ Right on the heels of that, I read in the press that there’s a toxic work environment, which I had no idea, never saw anything that would even point to that.”
Degeneres also told Guthrie, “I really didn’t understand it. I still don’t understand it. 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 all I’ve ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is and what a happy place this is.
“I don’t know how I could have known when there’s 255 employees here and there are a lot of different buildings, unless I literally stay here until the last person goes home at night. It is my name on the show, so clearly it affects me and I have to be the one to stand up and say, ‘This can’t be tolerated.’ But I do wish somebody would have come to me and said, ‘Hey, something’s going on that you should know about.’”
Ellen added that she felt like the press was very myogynistic in its coverage of the controversy surrounding her and her TV show.
“How can I be an example of strength and perseverance and power if I give up and run away?” asked Degeneres. “And so, it really is one of the reasons I came back. I worked really hard on myself. And also, I have to say, if nobody else is saying it, it was really interesting because I’m a woman, and it did feel very misogynistic.
“I am not bulletproof, and no I do not have a think skin. I am extremely sensitive, to the point where it is not healthy how sensitive I am. When something is coming back at me that I know is not true, I guess I could take one or two of those shots, but four months in a row took a toll on me.”
None of that, however, has to do with why Ellen is quitting her show, at least according to her.
“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 gave as an explanation for walking away now to The Hollywood Reporter.