Ellen DeGeneres bids farewell in final episode of talk show
Thursday - 26/05/2022 18:45
The final episode of Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show aired today – and the embattled TV host dropped a bombshell behind-the-scenes revelation.
The final episode of Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show has aired after almost two decades on-air.
The 64-year-old TV presenter, who first hosted The Ellen DeGeneres Show back in 2003, fronted the season 19 finale on Friday, where she dropped a bombshell about a word she was banned from saying when the show first started.
“I couldn’t say ‘gay’ on the show. I was not allowed to say ‘gay’,” Ellen told viewers.
“I said it at home a lot. ‘What are we having for gay breakfast?’ Or ‘pass the gay salt.’ ‘Has anyone seen the gay remote?’ — things like that,” she joked, before revealing what else about her private life she was banned from mentioning when the show started.
“I couldn’t say ‘we’ because that implied that I was with someone. Sure couldn’t say wife.
“That’s because it wasn’t legal for gay people to get married. And now I say wife all the time,” she added, referring to wife Portia de Rossi.
DeGeneres then referenced her ‘90s sitcom Ellen, which was cancelled in 1998 shortly after her character famously came out.
“Twenty-five years ago, they cancelled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be in prime time once a week. So I said, ‘OK, I’ll be in daytime every day, how about that?’”.
She later described her lengthy tenure on daytime TV as the most “beautiful journey” and “the greatest experience” of her life.
“If I’ve done anything in the past 19 years, I hope I’ve inspired you to be yourself. Your true, authentic self,” DeGeneres said.
“And if someone is brave enough to tell you who they are, be brave enough to support them, even if you don’t understand. They’re showing you who they are, and that is the biggest gift anybody can ever give you.”
After interviews with Billie Eilish and Jennifer Aniston, DeGeneres’ close friend, pop star
P!nk, was the final guest on the show, as she serenaded the outgoing host with a performance of her song What About Us.
DeGeneres then bid farewell the same way she did in the very first episode, sitting on a couch and turning off the TV as the stage doors closed behind her.
DeGeneres, who has reportedly amassed a net worth of $700 million, led more than 3000 shows, rivalling broadcast queen Oprah Winfrey.
Her iconic “be kind” slogan was first called to question when a March 2020 tweet by writer and comedian Kevin T. Porter claimed she was “notoriously one of the meanest people alive”.
It went viral, with more than 1000 replies from people detailing their horrendous experiences with her.
The aftermath was even more brutal, with countless staff coming forward on the record with their own stories of bullying. Most notably, a July 2020 story in Buzzfeed quoted 10 former and one at-the-time current employees speaking out against Ellen’s program.
They unanimously described a “toxic work environment” with a culture of “racism, fear and intimidation.”
A Warner Bros internal investigation following months of negative press led to the firings of top producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman.
Addressing toxic workplace claims for the first time after her return to TV for season 18 in September 2020, DeGeneres admitted she was a “work in progress” but pleaded to viewers that she is still “the person you see on TV”.
“As you may have heard this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should’ve happened,” she said.
“I take that very seriously, and I want to say I’m so sorry to the people who were affected.”
She admitted being known as the “be kind” lady is “a tricky position to be in”.
“Sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress.
“And I am especially working on the impatience thing because … and it’s not going well because it’s not happening fast enough.”