Ellen DeGeneres says emotional goodbye after filming final talk show episode
Ellen DeGeneres has thanked fans in an emotional Instagram post after filming the final episode of her long-running talk show.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which began in September 2003, will air its final episode on 26 May. DeGeneres quit the show last year following a string of controversies, saying it was “not a challenge anymore”.
Reflecting on the show’s beginning almost 19 years ago, Ellen said on Instagram: “When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social media didn’t exist. Gay marriage wasn’t legal.
“We watched the world change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. But whatever was happening, my goal was always for the show to be a place where we could all come together and laugh for an hour.
“Being invited into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life and has brought me incredible joy. Thank you.”
The final episode of the The Ellen DeGeneres Show – which has seen over 4,000 guests appear – will feature a line-up including Kim Kardashian, Michelle Obama, Channing Tatum, Zac Efron, Serena Williams, Jennifer Garner, Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, David Letterman and DeGeneres’ wife Portia de Rossi.
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The Ellen DeGeneres Show was hit with controversy when former employees told BuzzFeed News about alleged racist comments and a “toxic” environment on the set.
A Black woman who used to work on the show told the news outlet that when she was hired, a senior-level producer told her and another Black employee, “Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused,” while a writer on the show told her “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here”.
She added: “Whenever I brought up an issue to my white male boss, he would bring up some random story about some random Black friend that he had and how they managed to get over stuff.
“He would use his Black friend as some way to say, ‘I understand your struggle.’ But it was all performative bullshit.”
There were also claims of sexual misconduct on set. After an internal investigation three producers were fired, and DeGeneres made an emotional apology to staff.
DeGeneres has said that she is stepping away from the show on her own terms. However a former producer has argued that the “viewers fired her” after the controversy.
Former producer Hedda Muskat said during an appearance on Australian Channel 7’s Sunrise morning programme: “Her ratings have been in the toilet for a long, long time now. Her show has not been fun, it has not been interesting, and she’s not really, by the way, stepping down. The viewers fired her.
“The viewers feel duped in a way that she’s not this nice person, and the viewers are not going to put up with the backstage racism that goes on, and the backstage bullying that goes on. So I think the viewers have woken up finally.”
The final episode of The Ellen Show will air on Thursday 26 May on NBC.
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