Ellen DeGeneres taped the final episode of her long-running daytime talk show on Friday. Following the filming of the show’s finale, she took to Instagram to wax nostalgic about the nearly 20-year run and to thank her fans.
“When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social media didn’t exist,” Ellen began. ”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,” she added. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
During its run, The Ellen DeGeneres Show notched over 3,200 episodes on its belt as well as taking home over 60 Daytime Emmy Awards. Along the way, generous gifts to honor those who did good, games to make her audience laugh, and taking a moment to dance became hallmarks of the show.
But, in recent years, the 64-year-old comedienne and many high-level staffers were accused of bad behavior and a “toxic work environment.”
In July 2020, 10 former staffers and one current employee spoke to Buzzfeed News regarding allegations of racism, unethical terminations, fear, and more. A former bodyguard described Ellen to Fox News as “cold” and “actually kind of demeaning.” As more and more accusations came to light, top-ranked producers resigned.
Eventually, DeGeneres issued a public statement taking responsibility for the allegations saying, in part, “We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.” But in less than a year, the show lost almost half of its viewership. The damage had been done.
On May 11, 2021, she informed her staff she intended bring the show to a close with Season 19, telling her team it was “not a challenge anymore.”
Who knows what’s next for Ellen DeGeneres?
The final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air May 26.