On the final episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which has run for 19 seasons, the longtime talk-show host took the time Thursday to speak directly to her viewers with a special goodbye message.
“To all of you who have watched this show and supported me, thank you so much for this platform,” she said. “And I hope what I’ve been able to do in the last 19 years has made you happy, and that I was able to take a little bit of pain away from a bad day or anything you were going through. I hope I was able to inspire you to make other people happy and to do good in the world. To feel like you have a purpose.”
In her goodbye, DeGeneres, one of the first openly gay fixtures of daytime television, said she hopes her series helped others become more accepting and understanding in their own lives.
“I’ve said before but I will say it again, if I’ve done anything in the past 19 years, I hope I’ve inspired you to be yourself,” she said during an emotional final segment. “Your true authentic self. And if someone is brave enough to tell you who they are, be brave enough to support them even if you don’t understand. They are showing you who they are and that is the biggest gift anyone can ever give you.”
She continued: “By opening up your heart and your mind, you’re going to be that much more compassionate.”
Following 2020 accusations that the producers of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” had fostered a toxic work environment, the host apologized to her staff in a letter. In it, she attempted to distance herself from the accusations.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry,” DeGeneres wrote in the letter. “Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
Shortly after DeGeneres’ letter, former producer Hedda Muskat, who joined the show in 2003, told TheWrap that the host who had cultivated a brand of niceness over the years was actually aware of the toxic on-set environment and “culture of fear” that had developed.
An investigation conducted by production company Warner Bros. resulted in three of the show’s lead producers being fired. Then, in May of 2021, DeGeneres announced that the show’s upcoming 19th season would be its last.