In the two weeks leading up to her longtime talk show finale, Ellen DeGeneres was emotional, sources told Page Six.
“Ellen cried a lot,” a source told Page Six. “The few weeks leading up to the final were very emotional.”
At Warner Bros. Studios. From Burbank, Calif., where she has lived for nearly 20 years, DeGeneres, 64, filmed her final episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on April 28. The final show, which airs May 26, features a high-profile guest list including Jennifer Aniston and Pink – who both appeared in the very first episode on September 8, 2003. Billie Eilish, Michelle Obama, Justin Timberlake and Zac Efron also showed up for the latest shows.
But while DeGeneres was sad to see her 19-year run come to an end, she didn’t want to go out with a bang. There was no red carpet at her last show, as some who knew her had wanted.
“She wanted to hang out quietly,” a senior TV source told Page Six, “It was the friends and family of the cast and crew in the audience.”
“Ellen – 100% – did it on her own terms. She left as she wanted. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house on the last day,” another source familiar with DeGeneres said. Indeed, the “Friends” icon Aniston started crying as soon as she walked on set and kissed DeGeneres.
DeGeneres’ wife Portia de Rossi, 49, was on set for the past two weeks to support her, as were many of the comedian’s friends and his brother Vance DeGeneres.
DeGeneres came out as gay on her sitcom “Ellen” 25 years ago. His talk show was equally revolutionary. After a scandal that almost caused her to quit in 2020, a senior industry official who knows DeGeneres observed, “People forget that it was a culture-changing show.
“When Ellen started the show, the studio told her ‘you can’t say ‘we’ when you’re talking about your girlfriend’, which is what she was dealing with at first.
“No one ever thought the show would air, even selling it at the start was so hard. She always wanted to go to 19 seasons, she had people who relied on her for their livelihood…she went through those last two years. But it was a great race.”
DeGeneres announced her exit last May. It came 10 months after a Buzzfeed News article detailed allegations of a toxic workplace on Ellen’s set. Staff members alleged they were barred from speaking directly to DeGeneres, and the star was criticized for failing to take responsibility for the well-being of her workers. “If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to get more involved to see what’s going on,” said a former employee.
A former employee also told the site he experienced racism while working on the show, which has won more than 60 Emmys since it first aired in 2003.
Others have accused executive producer Ed Glavin — whom former “Ellen DeGeneres Show” producer Hedda Muskat dubbed DeGeneres’ “barking dog” — of inappropriate touching and driving with intimidation and fear. Executive producer Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have also been accused of sexual harassment by former staff members.
Leman denied “any type of sexual impropriety” and Norman said he “categorically denies these allegations 100 percent”. Glavin did not respond to the claims.
But Ellen referred to it.
In her Season 18 premiere, a year after the allegations arose, she told viewers, “I learned that things are happening here that should never have happened. I take this very seriously. And I want to say that I’m really sorry for the people who have been affected.
After an internal investigation by “Ellen DeGeneres Show” producers, Warner Bros., Glavin Leman and Norman were fired. Ratings dropped significantly in the 2020-21 season from the previous one, dropping from 2.6 million to 1.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen. But this current farewell season has been given a boost thanks to its star-studded guests.
In an interview with “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie to confirm her exit, DeGeneres admitted she thought about quitting in 2020, adding that she “really thought about not coming back because it was devastating. “.
“Did she want to stop when the [scandal] come? Yes, she didn’t want to go back and film even in September 2020, but she knew she had to end the show completely. She loves her team and she loves the show,” the TV insider said.
Coming out after 19 makes sense because “she likes ‘1’ — it signals the beginning and ‘9’ signals the end. She didn’t feel like she had to hit 20,” the insider added.
DeGeneres — who hosted more than 4,000 guests, played more than 2,000 games and donated nearly half a billion dollars to viewers and those in need — celebrated the end of the show at a party in Hollywood with only a crew and friends — and no celebrities — invited.
The intimate vibe was typical of Ellen, insiders say. “When you look back at everything she’s done for people over the past 19 years, it’s powerful.
“The most important thing for Ellen over the past few weeks and for everyone on the team was showing the family what this show is – and so the emotion came from the sense of togetherness they had” , said another source who knows her.
Last month, DeGeneres celebrated 25 years of coming out on her talk show. She married de Rossi in August 2008, when same-sex marriage was legalized in California. They live in Montecito, California, where real estate junkies have toppled more than 15 homes. Most recently, in February, they invested in a $21 million Montecito home called Villa Tragara.
Speaking about her sexuality, DeGeneres told viewers, “When I came out, people warned me it was going to ruin my career, and they were right for a while. In fact, for exactly three years I lost my career. But look at me now.
“It really shows how important it is to be your authentic self and how important it is to accept others as your authentic self,” she continued. “So it’s been 25 years since my coming out episode, and the only time I’m in the closet now is when Portia and I are playing hide and seek.”
There were 270 staff members on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” when DeGeneres said goodbye to her final episode, and according to those on set, she paid tribute to them. And they also congratulated her. She paid millions in bonuses to staff members, as reported by Page Six.
Kalen Allen, who became a regular after his food reaction videos caught DeGeneres’ attention, tweeted“Before The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I was a college student with five jobs, a desire to be awesome, and $100 to my name. This place turned my life upside down in three months. It was never just one job or 15 minutes of fame for me.
Next month, DeGeneres is traveling to Rwanda, where in February she established the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. The original goal of the Ellen Fund was to help secure a future for wild mountain gorillas by building a permanent home for the Dian Fossey Fund.
She is taking 20 friends and colleagues with her on an all fresh trip where she will be visiting campus for the first time. Those who know her are quick to point out that she quietly gives millions of her money to those in need.
Sources said DeGeneres has another stand-up show she wants to film for Netflix — his 2018 “Relatable” special was a hit — and a return to acting is seriously on the table. The “Ellen DeGeneres Show” will also continue to live on digital, led by Ellen Digital Ventures, with games and all of its social content.
In an April 29 Instagram post, DeGeneres wrote, “When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social media did not exist. Gay marriage was not legal.
“We have seen the world change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. But no matter what, my goal was always for the show to be a place where we could all come together and laugh for an hour.
DeGeneres went on to thank viewers for allowing her into their living rooms, iPhones and social media feeds over the years. She wrote that it was “the greatest privilege” of her life. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Saying goodbye: The source who knows DeGeneres said, “It was tough…she’s sad to be leaving her team, but she’s ready to leave her show.
“Ellen is in a great place…it’s been a tough journey, but she’s learned a lot. I wouldn’t bet against her.