One of the most successful — and, by its conclusion, one of the most controversial — runs in television historry has come to an end.
On Thursday, Ellen DeGeneres announced on Twitter that she and her crew had filmed the final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a program that lasted for 19 seasons and earned 12 Daytime Emmy Awards.
“Today we taped the final episode of ‘The Ellen Show’ which airs on May 26th,” Degeneres Tweeted.
“When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social media didn’t exist. Gay marriage wasn’t legal. We watched the world change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.”
Added the comedian:
"But whatever was happening, my goal was always for the show to be a place where we could all come together and laugh for an hour.
"Being invited into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life and has brought me incredible joy.
"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
For years and years, DeGeneres was generally known as one of the kindest and most popular celebrities in Hollywood.
However, that largely changed in 2020 after a Buzzfeed article was published that quoted a number of former talk show employees.
They categorized the workplace environment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show as toxic, pointing to numerous instances of bulllying, racism and sexism from the program’s executive producers.
Ellen herself was never directly accused of any wrongdoing, but these same employees emphasized that she was aware of the troubling behavior — and did nothing to stop it.
In a July 2020 letter to staff obtained by various outlets, the host said she’d always wanted the show to be a “place of happiness,” and she apologized for the issues that had taken place.
“Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” she wrote.
“And for that, I am sorry.
"Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
The Emmy winner added that the accusations were “very hurtful” to her, but she claimed they weren’t the reason she decided to end the show last year.
“If I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
On Thursday’s finale, meanwhile, DeGeneres celebrated the 25th anniversary of her former sitcom’s iconic coming-out episode.
DeGeneres reflected on her experience, saying to the viewers "look at me now."
For those in need of a refresher:
On April 30, 1997, DeGeneres herself didn’t just publicly come out as gay … her character on the ABC sitcom Ellen did as well.
The episode titled "The Puppy Episode" was taped in front of a live audience, something she addressed on this week’s taping.
"When I came out, people warned me that it was going to ruin my career, and they were right for a while," Ellen said during her opening monologue on Thursday.
"Actually, for exactly three years, I lost my career. But look at me now."
DeGeneres was met with loud applause on her final day of filming, as she stressed the importance of learning to accept and embrace people for their "authentic selves."
DeGeneres — whose final season guests included such A-Listers as Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, Julianne Moore, Melissa Etheridge and Meghan Markle — has been married to wife Portia De Rossi since 2008.
She confirmed via Twitter in March 2022 that the talk show’s finale will air on May 26, Tweeting:
“I’m going to miss this."