TV | Opinion | Has Ellen DeGeneres Lost Her Charm Forever?

Has Ellen DeGeneres Lost Her Charm Forever

This once-loved TV talk show host knows what it means to fall from grace. It’s been well over a year since the rumors that Ellen created a toxic work environment surfaced, after several of her former employees spoke out about their personal experiences. 

This is far from the image she tried to portray on her namesake show, where she created a Good Samaritan persona, who ironically always ended her show with the catchphrase “Be kind to one another.” A slogan that quickly backfired, as rumors spread like wildfire. 

The Backlash of 2020

In her season 18 premiere which aired in September 2020, she felt it was her duty to address the situation in a somewhat comical manner. She also apologized to viewers and states that it was a learning experience. 

So where is this once-upon-a-time loveable celebrity today? Have her earnings plummeted as a consequence of this scandal? What about her popular Road to Riches online slot game? Is it as popular as it was when she first debuted? One wonders with all of the top-ranking slots in the US whether her game has kept its momentum in such a competitive industry.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been on the air since September 2003, offering a mix of human interest stories, comedic relief, and celebrity interviews. With more than 3,000 episodes under her belt, Ellen had built a talk show empire with a loyal following of devoted viewers. 

Despite winning more than 60 Daytime Emmy awards and being named outstanding entertainment talk show in 2020, the Ellen show’s ratings have severely declined in recent years. 

The Beginning of the End of Ellen

It all started in February 2020 when Dutch beauty YouTuber, Nikkie de Jager (Nikky Tutorials), told a local talk show host that her experience on The Ellen DeGeneres Show was unpleasant, with Ellen acting “cold and distant” throughout the guest appearance. 

In April 2020, the scandal officially hit Twitter when a thread went viral, asking users about their own bad experiences with Ellen personally and professionally. The thread specifically asked for stories about Ellen being “one of the meanest people alive” and was shared by thousands of Twitter users, racking up about 2,000 replies. 

It was then that the cast and crew of The Ellen DeGeneres show began to come forward, claiming that at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Ellen had not communicated anything to them about working hours or pay. The hits just kept on coming. 

Many of the accusations revolved around her excessively rude and elitist behavior. Whether it was forcing staff to chew gum, firing autistic custodians for saying ‘hello’ to her, prohibiting her crew from eating meat, or demeaning her bodyguards, Ellen seems to have made a lot of enemies over the years. 

Ending The Ellen DeGeneres Show

In May 2021, Ellen came forward and announced that it was time to end the show for good. 

In a pre-recorded opening monologue, Ellen announced to a studio of remote viewers via television monitors that season 19 would be her last season. Claiming that she had made the decision several years earlier, Ellen side-stepped responding to any of the scandalous outrage that has followed her on the internet. 

It wasn’t until she was interviewed on the Today Show that she commented on it at all, saying “I really did think about not coming back, because it was devastating. It started with attacks on me and attacking everything that I stand for and believe in and built my career around. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy.”

She claims that the decision to end the show had nothing to do with the scandal, instead, saying that it just felt like the right time to close down the long-running show at the end of the 19th season

The Future of Ellen

It’s clear that Ellen’s forceful and contentious personality has caused issues for her show, her brand, and her legacy. She upset a lot of people with her behavior over the years, claiming to be one thing when the cameras were rolling, while showing a very different side behind the scenes. 

Her clever PR may have helped her to save some face as she launches into the last season of her show, but she may not be well-remembered by history after the trainwreck of the last two years. The scandal was no hatchet job after all; with thousands of people coming forward to express their truly distasteful experiences with Ellen, it’s evident that there was truth behind the allegations.

Ellen’s strong personality, however, may yet be her saving grace. She seems to be unwilling to allow this scandal to keep her from living life in the spotlight. Even in her farewell announcement, she quipped about still doing “stuff on Netflix” in the future. In all likelihood, we’ll be hearing from Ellen DeGeneres again someday soon. 

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