Embattled Ellen DeGeneres Looks Back Fondly On Nearly 20 Years of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’

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It may not have come to the ceremonious closing that Ellen appeared destined for just a couple of years ago, but the … let’s just say it, honestly… television legend is stepping away from her talkshow and she is taking a deserved trip down memory lane.

Final tapings have wrapped — and stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis and Bruno Mars, with other A-List appearances from Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish and Pink — are set for the Thursday, May 26, finale.

Now, after a long time, what will Ellen do next? And what does her future hold? Well… right now, a lot of nothing.

“Define ‘time off’,” DeGeneres said. Taking advice from her longtime friend, and industry icon, Oprah Winfrey.

Neither woman in the previous sentence needs a last name.

Ellen. Orpah.

Both stand alone and that is something the DeGeneres is understanding of.

“I also had glory days on my sitcom, the last few that I really savored and enjoyed,” Ellen told the AP. “I think you can have many glory days, I hope, because I have. (Oprah) was right, in a sense, that’ll never happen again. Then I’ll create new ones.”

When Ellen Morgan … the role she played on her show, Ellen … got her start, the attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community was not what it is now. To that end, Ellen made major news (good and bad) by coming out with her simple line, “Susan, I’m Gay.

“It was called ‘The Puppy Episode’ because we wanted to keep it a secret until it aired and because ‘Ellen Throws Her Career Away’ seemed too on the nose,” DeGeneres told People.

Ellen was renewed and had stayed fairly standard for network television at the time — though rumors long since came to light that it was set to lean more into LGBTQ+ stories — while ultimately being forced to add parental advisory warnings when the show aired a same-sex kiss.

Also, according to ABC, viewership did decline because — as the company said — the show, “became a program about a lead character who was gay every single week.” Ultimately it was canceled in 1998.

Ellen started her talkshow in 2003 after a brief return to sitcoms and the format took daytime television by storm. The immediacy of success was impressive and now it seemed appropriate to look back at how things have changed over the last 20 years.

“I realize that I’m on television every single day just being myself (and) that should reach people,” she said. “I’m really grateful that I became a talk show host, that I get to be myself every single day versus if I would have continued acting, playing different roles all the time. I wouldn’t have been able to explore and see myself grow as a person. And, like you said, just by being there hopefully send a message that I’m really no different from anybody else.”

Much like the societal pendulum has swung on the attitude towards LGBTQ+ community it has also changed on cultures in the workplaces and Ellen was seemingly, credibly, accused of being a bit of a bully.

Multiple former employees went public, describing the work environment as “toxic” which forced Warner Bros to perform an investigation following the allegations as well as forcing Ellen to address the situation.

Its internal findings found “some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management” and the entertainment company said that was going to be making changes to staffing.

She tried to dodge the situation on the show, saying “If you’re watching because you love me, thank you. If you’re watching because you don’t love me, welcome,” before quickly moving past it with, “Today we are starting a new chapter… If I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that.”

How her legacy is remembered will be up to each individual but her career on television is as impressive as any in history. She has won 30 Emmys and 20 People’s Choice Awards, which is more than any other person, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the inaugural Carol Burnett Award at the Golden Globes.

The AP did a great interview with her, that is free to read.

Biography also did an in-depth piece several years ago that is worth the read, if you are interested.

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