But The Ellen DeGeneres Show host was in safe mode while speaking to Winfrey – who is a personal friend – about her decision to quit her long-time series. Failing to address any of the explosive claims about the show and its culture – such as allegations of a toxic workplace and bullying – Winfrey instead asked DeGeneres, “How are you actually feeling? How are you really feeling?”.During one awkward moment, DeGeneres appeared visibly uncomfortable when Winfrey revealed, at length, the guilt she felt when she ended her own TV talk show in 2011. Addressing her exit, Ellen told Winfrey: “It was hard. There were tears … it was really hard”.“I do love everyone here, we do have a relationship … I wanted to give them a year to celebrate with me and stay with me,” she said, as Ellen appeared to look off camera. In a separate interview with the US Today, DeGeneres claimed that the allegations against her – including that her show’s culture was “toxic” – were “misogynistic” and “too orchestrated”.DeGeneres was asked by Today anchor Savanah Guthrie if the allegations had “anything to do” with her decision to leave.“If it was why I’m quitting, I would not have come back this year,” DeGeneres said.“Honestly, I did really think about not coming back. Because it – I mean, it was devastating.“Because it started with me, it started with attacks on me, and attacking everything that I stand for and delieve in and built my career around.”ELLEN’S BOMBSHELL After nearly two decades on air, DeGeneres announced she is ending her show after 19 seasons.The star announced the decision publicly yesterday but the decision is said to have been a couple of years in the making.“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.The 63-year-old host, writer, producer, actress and comedian won dozens of Emmy Awards for the show and has been a pioneer of the LGBTQ community in America since she came out as gay in 1997.That trailblazing revelation — made by DeGeneres’s character in a sitcom named after her — shocked America and nearly doomed her career.DeGeneres’ decision came amid slumping ratings following allegations by former and current staffers that the long-running has been a toxic place to work.The star insisted her decision to pull the pin on the show had nothing to do with allegations in the past year of a workplace environment rife with bullying, racial discrimination and sexual harassment.DeGeneres downplayed the fallout from the allegations on Wednesday (local time). “It almost impacted the show,” DeGeneres told the trade publication. “It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season.”When the complaints from people working on the show came out last year, DeGeneres acknowledged there were problems, apologised and pledged to do better.The host, who’s built her brand on the motto “Be Kind,” kicked off season 18 last September with a lengthy apology, telling viewers, “I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.” While the apology was DeGeneres’ highest-rated premiere in years, audience viewership quickly fell, even as Hollywood’s A-list remained as loyal as ever.DeGeneres was not personally accused of wrongdoing but she was blamed for allowing the issues behind the scenes to develop.The industry backlash escalated when Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett, who appeared on her show six times, last year tweeted: “Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge”. Still, DeGeneres is believed to have been considering ending the show for several years. Since September, The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s ratings have plummeted by more than one-half compared to last season, to 1.2 million viewers per show. The final episode of Ellen – as the program is commonly referred to – is scheduled to air next year. DeGeneres has served as co-producer of her show and last year earned an estimated $A110 million dollars, making her the 12th highest-paid celebrity in the world, according to Forbes.
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