Ellen DeGeneres joined Savannah Guthrie on Today in the US, claiming that reports of her show’s “toxic” workplace environment continue to shock her.
However, she claims that this was not the reason why her show is coming to an end.
“I mean, I really don’t understand it. I still don’t understand it,” DeGeneres told Guthrie.
“It was too orchestrated. It was too coordinated. And you know, people get picked on, but for four months straight for me, and then for me to read in the press about a toxic work environment when all I have ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is and what a happy place it is.”
She continued, “If it [toxic workplace allegations] was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year. I really did think about not coming back.
“It was devastating. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy. I just kept saying to Portia [de Rossi] if I was a fan of somebody, and even though I loved them I would think there must be some truth to it because it is not stopping.
“And then right on the heels of that I hear that there is a toxic work environment, which I had no idea, never saw anything that would even point to that.”
When asked how she was unaware that there were any problems among staff, she responded: “I don’t know how I could have known when there is 255 employees here, and there are a lot of different buildings, unless I literally stayed here until the last people goes home at night.
“It is my name on the show, so clearly it affects me, and I have to be the one to stand up and say, this can’t be tolerated. But I do wish somebody would have come to me and said, ‘Hey, there is something that you should know about'”.
This isn’t the first time DeGeneres has faced public scrutiny. Back in 1997, she came out as homosexual, prompting sponsors to pull advertisements from her sitcom, resulting in its cancellation.
“My therapist said very few people go through public humiliation twice in a lifetime… it was really interesting because I am a woman and it did feel very misogynistic.”
Ellen DeGeneres’ show will conclude after its upcoming 19th season.