After 18 years of dancing, games, prize giveaways and celebrity guests, Ellen DeGeneres will end her daytime talk show. The end of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, also known as Ellen, comes after complaints of workplace misconduct caused the host to lose over a million viewers in a single season.

The decline started after Buzzfeed posted an article featuring the stories of ten former and one current employee. The employees, who remained anonymous, fearing retribution, discussed how they experienced “racism, fear and intimidation” while at the show. Rumors that DeGeneres didn’t quite live up to the “be kind” mantra of her brand had circulated for years. One Twitter thread which asked people to share “the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean” garnered more than 2,600 replies.

After these negative workplace comments, as well as allegations of sexual harassment, Warner Bros. launched an investigation into the show. This led to the firing of three high-level producers. Though DeGeneres apologized to her staff privately, she made a public apology on the premiere of season 18. In September 2020, she said, “I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”

That episode had the highest ratings that Ellen had seen in four years. Then they started to drop.

Ellen experienced a sharp decline in viewers over the 2020-21 year. DeGeneres, who once ruled daytime television, began competing with hosts like Kelly Clarkson and Maury Povich. She racked in an average of 1.4 million views, down 44 percent from the 2.6 million of last season. In addition, Ellen advertisement revenue declined 22 percent, from $163.8 million to $127.6 million.

DeGeneres denies, though, that the workplace allegations have caused her to end the show. She told The Hollywood Reporter that she knew for a while 2022 would be her last season. She had considered ending earlier, but her brother urged her to continue through the Trump administration.

During her public apology, DeGeneres addressed her kindness-oriented brand and how difficult it is to live up to it. “Being known as the Be Kind Lady is a tricky position to be in,” she said. “So let me give you some advice. If anyone is thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the Be Kind Lady.”

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