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Ellen DeGeneres announces retirement from show business

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres Photo: Shutterstock

Lesbian comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently told attendees at her farewell tour, “Ellen’s Last Stand…Up” that, after her upcoming Netflix special, she will no longer perform in show business.

During her performance at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa on Monday evening, an audience member asked her, “Will we see you on Broadway or movies?” DeGeneres responded, “Um, no. This is the last time you’re going to see me. After my Netflix special, I’m done,” The SF Gate reported.

When another fan asked her to return as Dory, the forgetful fish in Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo animated film series, DeGeneres said, “No, I’m going bye-bye, remember.”

DeGeneres told the crowd, ” I got kicked out of show business for being mean,” referring to rumors of a toxic workplace on the set of her long-running daytime talk show which led her to leave the show in May 2022.

“I used to say, ‘I don’t care what people say about me.’ Now I realize I said that during the height of my popularity,” DeGeneres told the crowd. “I can be demanding and impatient and tough. I am a strong woman,” she continued, adding, “I am many things, but I am not mean” because, she said, her intent was never to hurt anyone.

After a nearly 20-year run, DeGeneres aired the final episode of her daytime talk show, Ellen, on May 26, 2022. She taped over 3,200 episodes of her show and won over 60 Daytime Emmy Awards for it. Throughout its run, the “Queen of Kind” ran warm interviews with celebrities as well as with everyday people trying to do good in the world. She’d often challenge them with lighthearted games or surprise them with generous gifts meant to aid their work.

But in 2020, the comedienne came under fire from former employees who accused her of rudeness and not communicating with them during the pandemic’s height. Some said they’d lost their jobs for taking medical leave and were targeted for sexual harassment by powerful and unaccountable producers.

Several producers resigned from the show after Buzzfeed published the allegations.

While DeGeneres took responsibility and apologized to her employees, less than a year later, she announced her intention to end the show, stating that it was “not a challenge anymore.”

“Twenty-five years ago they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be in primetime once a week,” she said on her final episode. “And I said, ‘OK, then I’ll be on daytime every day. How about that?’ … If I’ve done anything in the past 19 years, I hope I’ve inspired you to be yourself, 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.”

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