The announcement by Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday that she was ending The Ellen DeGeneres Show in spring 2022 shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The retirement rumors have been making the rounds for several years, but they began to get louder by the end of January amid last summer’s workplace abuse allegations, her bout with COVID-19 and the show’s free-falling ratings.
Instead of ending her show this year, DeGeneres is likely making a calculated move to distance herself from the struggles of the last year and end on a high note. It will hopefully help people forget the negativity and remind her audience that the DeGeneres brand is “about making people happy.” She told The Hollywood Reporter that her purpose with her show is about “spreading kindness and compassion” and last summer’s BuzzFeed News exposé left her feeling that everything she stood for “was being attacked.”
After making internal changes behind the scenes and addressing the controversy on the air, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has struggled to regain the same traction it had before the pandemic and the alleged abuse. By remaining on the air for one more season, she can remind people that she “cares tremendously.” The comedian elaborated to The Hollywood Reporter, “It broke my heart when I learned that people here had anything other than a fantastic experience — that people were hurt in any way.” DeGeneres has made a point to check in with her staff more and let them know she’s available as a sounding board, even though she’s the boss and the star of the show.
“So, we’ve all learned from things that we didn’t realize — or I didn’t realize — were happening,” she said. “I just want people to trust and know that I am who I appear to be.” By continuing into her 19th season, DeGeneres can make it a year filled with positive memories at fun moments from the show, she can say goodbye to her viewers in a meaningful way and she can celebrate the employees who have stuck with her through the tumultuous times. This allows her to rewrite her legacy and let people know she’s grown from this experience.
“So, we’ve all learned from things that we didn’t realize — or I didn’t realize — were happening,” DeGeneres shared. “I just want people to trust and know that I am who I appear to be.”
And that’s what the 19th season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will lean into — a renewed appreciation of kindness and positivity.
Before you go, click here to see some of the most dramatic celebrity transformations of the past decade.