19 years later, Ellen Degeneres has wrapped up her much-celebrated talk show, The Ellen Degeneres Show. To mark the last episode, DeGeneres invited her favourite celebrity guests and close friends including Jennifer Aniston, P!nk and many others, and it, quite naturally, emotions ran high. Degeneres thanked everyone who made the show possible and got nostalgic talking about her journey that brought her to this day.

Ellen DeGeneres talked about how the show evolved through the seasons. “When we started this show, I couldn’t say ‘gay’ on the show. I was not allowed to say ‘gay.’ I said it at home a lot. ‘What are we having for gay breakfast?’. We couldn’t say ‘gay.’ I couldn’t say ‘we,’ because that implied that I was with someone. I sure couldn’t say ‘wife,’ and that’s because it wasn’t legal for gay people to get married, and now I say ‘wife’ all the time,” she noted. She was then honoured with a montage of the best moments from the show and for her contribution towards the LGBTQ+ community.

It sure was an emotional moment for the fans as well, who have been part of this journey as they got to know their favourite celebrities, watch them play games and share bits of their life. However, the show wasn’t just fun and games, as it had it’s share of controversies as well. While we may always be grateful of the talk show host for bringing laughs, there were a lot of things that went wrong on the show too. Looking back, we talk about the show’s journey – the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

The Ellen Degeneres Show sure was one full of laughs and entertainments. From everyone’s favourite celebrities to small wonder kids to people who just needed a platform to express themselves, Degeneres invited people from all walks of life. She even donated to causes and helped many people who came on her show. A few examples would be when she donated 200,000 meals to animal shelters or when she raised $1 million for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Degeneres was at her philanthropic best in these years and she knew how to get people to laugh. Not to forget, she was one of the few female, gay stand-up comics who made it big on the small screen, with people calling her ‘female Seinfeld’.

The Bad

Many Twitter users felt that the talk show host has been mean to her fans. An incident that many recalled was how she used to make fun of the gifts that her fans used to send her. She even has been criticized for using extreme tactics to get celebrities to confirm rumours. For example, she once urged Mariah Carey to drink alcohol to prove she was not pregnant. The singer later spoke about being extremely uncomfortable on set. Many other celebs including Celine Dion, Blake Shelton, Viola Davis, and Kylie Jenner have also been insulted by Degeneres.

The Ugly

This brings us to the reason why the decision to end the show came about. Several incidents of the toxic work environment at The Ellen DeGeneres Show were reported back in 2020. Many former employees revealed that they endured racist comments from managers, were fired for taking leaves for family emergencies, and worked in a culture of fear and oppression. Ellen Degeneres addressed these allegations and apologised for the same. “I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected,” she said.

“I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she added. However, people were not happy with just the apology. The viewership decreased by big chunks despite Degeneres bringing a range of A-list stars including Meghan Markle, Jennifer Aniston, Zac Efron, Diane Keaton, Kim and Khloé Kardashian, Kris Jenner, and Michelle Obama on the show.