After months of bad publicity about how awful she is to her staff, comedian and iconic talk show host is giving out bonuses as she winds down her show.
The final episode of the Ellen DeGeneres show will air on May 26.
The show’s production company will also reportedly continue staff’s health insurance for an extra six months and will assist them with finding new jobs.
The bonuses will be based on length of service – and for many staffers, some of whom have been with the show for its entire 19 years, that can quickly add up. 30 percent of the show’s employees have been there for over 10 years.
Celebrities are pouring out of the woodwork to help DeGeneres wrap her daytime talk show. Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner, Channing Tatum, Serena Williams, Zac Efron, Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo, Gwen Stefani, David Letterman, Diane Keaton, Kim Kardashian, and DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, are all slated to appear before the last episode.
The decision to end her show follows a year of negative coverage in the press, including dozens of former staffers who said that her show is a toxic workplace. Several senior producers were also accused of sexual harassment.
DeGeneres promised an investigation and several producers were fired. She apologized to her staff and said that changes were implemented.
At the start of the show’s 18th season this past September, DeGeneres discussed the allegations on her show and said that she is trying to do better.
“We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter,” she said at the time. But the damage was done, and her enormously successful show took a huge knock in ratings, losing 43% of viewers in just a year.
Ellen denies that the accusations are the reason the show is ending.
“It almost impacted the show. It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very,” she said. “But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season.”
“I became a comedian because I wanted to make people feel good,” she continued. “It started when I was 13-years-old, when my parents got divorced, and I wanted to make my mother happy. My whole being is about making people happy.”
In a 2018 New York Times interview, Ellen talked about how she was getting bored with the show’s format after so many years.
“The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk-show host,” she said. “There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.”
She said that she didn’t feel like she could tell the jokes she wanted to on the show because viewers expected her to just be nice and dance.
“There’s been times someone wants a picture, and while I’m doing a selfie, they’re like: ‘You’re not dancing!’” she said. “Of course I’m not dancing. I’m walking down the street.”