The 19th season of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" will be the last as the talk show host announced her departure in the wake of allegations of a toxic work environment.
The decision to leave has been several years in the making, according to the comedian who said she had been wrestling with the idea since 2018. She admitted that she wanted to stop with Season 16 but Warner Bros. wanted her to sign on for four more years. Doing another year was not feasible so they agreed on three more years, which would end the show in 2022 at Season 19.
"I knew that would be my last. That's been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, 'You know, that's going to be 19, don't you want to just go to 20? It's a good number.' So is 19," DeGeneres said in an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The actress said she never wavered in her decision to end the show. She acknowledged that it will be "hard on the last day" but she also knows it is time to move on.
"I'm a creative person, and when you're a creative person you constantly need to be challenged, which is why I decided to host the Oscars or why I decided to go back to stand-up when I didn't think I would," she explained adding that she needed something to challenge her and "as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore."
Of course, DeGeneres' exit is not without its speculations that it is related to allegations of a toxic workplace at her show. She shared that the accusations impacted the program and were very hurtful to her.
She admitted that it was hard to take all those allegations in for four months and that they nearly convinced her not to go back. However, she clarified that it is not why she is stopping, because if it was then she would not have returned for Season 18.
DeGeneres told her staff about her decision to end "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Tuesday. She will discuss it further with Oprah Winfrey during her May 13 episode.