Ellen DeGeneres Reacts To Toxic Workplace Claims

When Ellen DeGeneres announced that the upcoming 19th season of her long-running talk show would be its last, there was plenty of speculation around the reason why. Though it's pretty easy to come to one's own conclusions.

DeGeneres gave an emotional speech during the taping of May 13's episode, explaining the decision to end the show after 3000-plus episodes, revealing that her "instincts" told her that it was time. "The past 18 years have changed my life. You've changed my life," the host said. "I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing ... sometimes crying. This show has been the greatest experience of my life and I owe it all to you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" has been under public scrutiny since accusations of DeGeneres creating a toxic workplace surfaced last summer, prompting an internal investigation. The host addressed these allegations of bullying, racist comments, and a toxic workplace atmosphere in a memo, per Today, apologizing and telling employees that she would be "taking steps" to correct the issues. DeGeneres did not recover when it came to ratings, however. According to The New York Times, the show lost more than one million viewers last year – leading some viewers to question whether the toxic workplace claims were DeGeneres' downfall. Scroll down to see why she is now saying she is ending her show. 

Ellen DeGeneres said the attacks felt "orchestrated"

In a May 13 interview with Today, Ellen DeGeneres insisted that the allegations were not the reason for her ending her show. "If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year," DeGeneres said on-air. She added that she did consider not returning because of the "devastating" press coverage. "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."

DeGeneres also claimed to have "no idea" about the alleged toxic environment, adding the criticism felt "very misogynistic" to her. "I really didn't understand it. I still don't understand it," DeGeneres admitted. "It was too orchestrated. It was too coordinated. 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've ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is and what a happy place this is."

Although the backlash reportedly didn't cause her to quit, DeGeneres described herself as "extremely sensitive" to the criticism. "When something is coming back at me that I know is not true, I guess I could take one or two of those shots, but four months in a row took a toll on me," she added.