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There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres’s Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

She shattered walls. She then went on to ruin her own career.

Ellen DeGeneres, the troubled comedian, announced on Wednesday that she will leave her eponymous talk show after the next season.

According to The Washington Post, the writing was already on the wall because her contract was set to expire in 2022. The official reason for DeGeneres’ departure is that her show “simply isn’t a challenge anymore.” But she’s been hounded by scandal for months, and “Ellenratings “‘s and ability to attract A-list guests have reportedly suffered as a result.

Since claims of a “toxic workplace atmosphere” behind the scenes on “Ellen” broke last summer, DeGeneres, 63, has been a lightning rod for controversy, despite her friendly public image and motto, “be kind.”

Following the reporting, which included allegations of sexual misbehavior and harassment by producers, WarnerMedia launched an inquiry and fired three producers from the show.

“That ‘be kind’ nonsense only occurs when the cameras are turned on.” In July, one former employee told Buzzfeed News, “It’s all for show.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

DeGeneres did not respond to this piece, although she did address the matter on-air in her first Season 18 monologue in September.

“As you may be aware, there were complaints of a hostile work environment at our performance this summer, which led to an investigation,” she explained. “I take it very seriously, and I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all who have been affected… “What happens at my show is my responsibility.”

Aside from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” DeGeneres has a full schedule, including NBC’s “Ellen’s Game of Games” and “The Masked Dancer,” HBO Max’s “Ellen’s Next Great Designer,” and Discovery+’s “Endangered.” It’s unclear how the finale of “Ellen” will affect the remainder of her career, but her tainted public image is a far cry from where she began.

With a breakthrough 1986 appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” DeGeneres originally rose to popularity on the stand-up comedy circuit in the 1980s. “My grandmother started walking five kilometers a day when she was 60,” she said in one of her jokes. She’s 97 today, and we have no idea where she is.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

Her comedy “Ellen,” which aired from 1994 to 1998, made her a star. She made history by coming out as gay on television in Season 4’s “The Puppy Episode,” which aired on April 30, 1997. She also appeared on the cover of Time magazine and hosted programs with Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer.

In 2017, she stated that she came out on TV to rid herself of “shame.”

“I did some self-work, some deep soul-searching, and discovered I was carrying a lot of shame around with me… I knew it was a secret no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need anyone to know. And I was aware that people would dislike me simply because they knew I was homosexual, regardless of how much they enjoyed my comedy or presentation. It had taken precedence over my career.”

“That was why her relationships with guys weren’t working out,” she explained.

It was a watershed moment for Hollywood and the LGBTQ community, but the road ahead was far from smooth.

Despite the fact that 42 million people watched the show and it won an Emmy and a Peabody award, ABC cancelled it in 1998.

In 2018, DeGeneres told Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast that “[the show] stopped] because I came out.” “It’s a long story, but they didn’t want me to come out,” she says. They finally let me come out, and the night of the event was a big success. It was enormous. It was celebrated… and then no one promoted it because everyone was afraid. They were basically acting like, ‘We’re just letting everything go,’ because we were losing sponsors. We’re not going to do anything with it.’ I didn’t get any further advertising or promotions. As a result, it was canceled.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

In the aftermath, she claims that LGBTQ celebrities like Elton John advised her to “stop up already” about being gay. “Everyone was making fun of me.” “I was depressed,” she admitted.

DeGeneres followed it up in 2001 with the critically panned CBS comedy “The Ellen Show,” which was canceled after only 13 episodes. “I wasn’t sure whether I was going to work again,” DeGeneres said of that time in her career to Out in 2016. “I was at rock bottom, broke, and unable to find job. But it gets better one step at a time.”

DeGeneres was in the unusual position of having achieved critical and economic success while remaining an industry underdog.

“It was all kinds of other lessons,” DeGeneres told Oprah Winfrey in 2015. “I had to learn what it’s like to not be affected by things like that.”

Following the termination of “Ellen” and the failure of “The Ellen Show,” she resurfaced in 2003 with the premiere of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and her part as Dory, the sassy cartoon fish in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” “Just keep swimming,” Dory’s catchphrase, was both literal for the character and figurative for persisting through life’s challenges, which complemented DeGeneres’ image as a hard-working celebrity and America’s de-facto fun aunt.

Even yet, the transition to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was not seamless. She went on a trip with Warner Bros. executive Jim Paratore to persuade station managers.

“Jim was a heterosexual, white man who adored me, and he couldn’t understand the pushback from all these station managers who didn’t want to acquire my program,” DeGeneres said in a 2016 interview with the Telegraph.

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

“They said: she’s a gay woman, and the women watching daytime TV at home are heterosexual housewives with children — what does she have in common with them?” So Jim responded, “We’re going on tour, and you’ll show them who you are.” As a result, I had to travel from city to city. These men would be forced to come out and sit in the crowd. They were glancing around to see who was in the audience.”

In 2004, she began dating “Arrested Development” actress Portia de Rossi, and the two married in 2008.

ALSO READ: Wordle: The Contentious Response Was Unintentional – New York Times 

DeGeneres’ pioneering work for the LGBTQ community, as well as her upbeat and down-to-earth persona, garnered her widespread popular admiration that lasted two decades. She rose to prominence as the queen of wholesome comedy, with content that families can enjoy together without fear of foul jokes or zingers.

She also participated as a guest judge on “American Idol” in 2010, winning 30 Emmys and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom (awarded in 2016).

Following Hurricane Katrina, she was repeatedly recruited to host award events such as the Grammys (in 1996 and 1997), the Oscars (in 2007 and 2014), and the Emmys (in 2001 and 2005), when she was tasked with the onerous duty of generating a celebratory environment in the aftermath of national sorrow. DeGeneres seemed a safe pick as a presenter, in contrast to industry peers like Ricky Gervais, who is notorious for joyfully hurling obscenities.

Her public image is epitomized in her most famous Oscars moment, which is a massive group selfie of A-listers rather than a cutting remark about Leonardo DiCaprio’s dating life. It’s cute, but not particularly scathing.

ALSO READ: Why Chris Evans Replaced Tim Allen As Buzz Lightyear, According To A Lightyear Producer? 

Her viewership mostly consisted of women in the “mom” demographic once “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” became a pop culture mainstay. Her celebrity interviews often didn’t uncover crucial details; instead, they went viral for harmlessly amusing quirks like Kristen Bell’s sloth fixation.

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

However, there were clues along the line that DeGeneres wasn’t putting her “be kind” mantra into practice. For example, when Mariah Carey went on “Ellen” in 2008, DeGeneres pressed the pop diva to reveal her pregnancy on television.

“I’m shocked you did this to me, Ellen… When DeGeneres handed her Champagne, Carey stated on-screen, “This is peer pressure.” “You’re pregnant!” DeGeneres exclaimed as Carey pretended to take a sip.

Carey unfortunately miscarried her child. In 2011, she gave birth to twins with her ex-husband Nick Cannon. “All I can say is that I was incredibly uncomfortable with that moment,” Carey told Vulture in August about her “Ellen” appearance. “And I’ve had a difficult time dealing with the fallout.” Because I’d experienced a miscarriage, I wasn’t ready to tell anyone. I don’t want to put someone under the bus who is already being thrown, but I didn’t enjoy that moment.”

ALSO READ: Two-week suspension for Whoopi Goldberg at ABC due to remarks on the Holocaust

Apart from Carey’s interview, there have been a few stray awkward moments, such as DeGeneres accusing Dakota Johnson of not inviting her to her birthday party in 2019.

“Actually, Ellen, that is not the case,” Johnson answered.

Even before “Ellen” was formally investigated for its toxic workplace environment, in March of 2020, rumors about DeGeneres’ behavior began to circulate, thanks to a viral Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter asking people to respond “with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean.”

Anecdotes abound in his responses, including one from Chris Farah, a former waiter who said she previously served DeGeneres.

“She complained to the owner about my cracked nail paint in a letter” (not that it was on her plate but just that it was on my hand). Farah recounted, “I had worked till closing the night before and this was the next morning, almost got me fired.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

“My pal wrote for the Ellen Show for two years and told me Ellen didn’t greet her once,” another admirer claimed. In fact, employees were warned not to speak to her when they started.”

Benjamin Siemon (“Crazy Ex Girlfriend”), a writer and comedian, stated that DeGeneres had strange restrictions about her staff’ hygiene.

“Because she has a’sensitive nose,’ everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before speaking with her, and if she feels you stink that day, you must go home and shower,” he explained.

“Every day she picks someone different to truly detest,” he continued to a new staff member. “It’s not your fault; just put up with it for the day, and the next day she’ll be rude to someone else.” They didn’t trust it at first, but it turned out to be completely accurate.”

These testimonies depicted a despotic picture of DeGeneres, which is a far cry from her “kind” reputation — and from the underdog she began with after her coming-out moment and subsequent response.

The probe into “Ellen’s” workplace occurred after Variety reported in April that staff workers were “furious” after “Ellen” abandoned them with no contact about their future employment once the epidemic struck.

Even now, with the dominos falling on “Ellen,” it’s not all black and white, since not everyone sees her as a villain.

“The reality is, there’s a lot of gratitude among her employees that she didn’t just resign after last summer, and has kept them all employed this season during a pandemic,” a person close to the production told The Washington Post. And now they all get to work for a new season the following year.”

“This culture we’re living is… one where you can’t learn and evolve, which is, as human beings, what we’re here to do,” DeGeneres said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday about the end of “Ellen.”

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There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres’s Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

She shattered walls. She then went on to ruin her own career.

Ellen DeGeneres, the troubled comedian, announced on Wednesday that she will leave her eponymous talk show after the next season.

According to The Washington Post, the writing was already on the wall because her contract was set to expire in 2022. The official reason for DeGeneres’ departure is that her show “simply isn’t a challenge anymore.” But she’s been hounded by scandal for months, and “Ellenratings “‘s and ability to attract A-list guests have reportedly suffered as a result.

Since claims of a “toxic workplace atmosphere” behind the scenes on “Ellen” broke last summer, DeGeneres, 63, has been a lightning rod for controversy, despite her friendly public image and motto, “be kind.”

Following the reporting, which included allegations of sexual misbehavior and harassment by producers, WarnerMedia launched an inquiry and fired three producers from the show.

“That ‘be kind’ nonsense only occurs when the cameras are turned on.” In July, one former employee told Buzzfeed News, “It’s all for show.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

DeGeneres did not respond to this piece, although she did address the matter on-air in her first Season 18 monologue in September.

“As you may be aware, there were complaints of a hostile work environment at our performance this summer, which led to an investigation,” she explained. “I take it very seriously, and I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all who have been affected… “What happens at my show is my responsibility.”

Aside from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” DeGeneres has a full schedule, including NBC’s “Ellen’s Game of Games” and “The Masked Dancer,” HBO Max’s “Ellen’s Next Great Designer,” and Discovery+’s “Endangered.” It’s unclear how the finale of “Ellen” will affect the remainder of her career, but her tainted public image is a far cry from where she began.

With a breakthrough 1986 appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” DeGeneres originally rose to popularity on the stand-up comedy circuit in the 1980s. “My grandmother started walking five kilometers a day when she was 60,” she said in one of her jokes. She’s 97 today, and we have no idea where she is.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

Her comedy “Ellen,” which aired from 1994 to 1998, made her a star. She made history by coming out as gay on television in Season 4’s “The Puppy Episode,” which aired on April 30, 1997. She also appeared on the cover of Time magazine and hosted programs with Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer.

In 2017, she stated that she came out on TV to rid herself of “shame.”

“I did some self-work, some deep soul-searching, and discovered I was carrying a lot of shame around with me… I knew it was a secret no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need anyone to know. And I was aware that people would dislike me simply because they knew I was homosexual, regardless of how much they enjoyed my comedy or presentation. It had taken precedence over my career.”

“That was why her relationships with guys weren’t working out,” she explained.

It was a watershed moment for Hollywood and the LGBTQ community, but the road ahead was far from smooth.

Despite the fact that 42 million people watched the show and it won an Emmy and a Peabody award, ABC cancelled it in 1998.

In 2018, DeGeneres told Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast that “[the show] stopped] because I came out.” “It’s a long story, but they didn’t want me to come out,” she says. They finally let me come out, and the night of the event was a big success. It was enormous. It was celebrated… and then no one promoted it because everyone was afraid. They were basically acting like, ‘We’re just letting everything go,’ because we were losing sponsors. We’re not going to do anything with it.’ I didn’t get any further advertising or promotions. As a result, it was canceled.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

In the aftermath, she claims that LGBTQ celebrities like Elton John advised her to “stop up already” about being gay. “Everyone was making fun of me.” “I was depressed,” she admitted.

DeGeneres followed it up in 2001 with the critically panned CBS comedy “The Ellen Show,” which was canceled after only 13 episodes. “I wasn’t sure whether I was going to work again,” DeGeneres said of that time in her career to Out in 2016. “I was at rock bottom, broke, and unable to find job. But it gets better one step at a time.”

DeGeneres was in the unusual position of having achieved critical and economic success while remaining an industry underdog.

“It was all kinds of other lessons,” DeGeneres told Oprah Winfrey in 2015. “I had to learn what it’s like to not be affected by things like that.”

Following the termination of “Ellen” and the failure of “The Ellen Show,” she resurfaced in 2003 with the premiere of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and her part as Dory, the sassy cartoon fish in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” “Just keep swimming,” Dory’s catchphrase, was both literal for the character and figurative for persisting through life’s challenges, which complemented DeGeneres’ image as a hard-working celebrity and America’s de-facto fun aunt.

Even yet, the transition to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was not seamless. She went on a trip with Warner Bros. executive Jim Paratore to persuade station managers.

“Jim was a heterosexual, white man who adored me, and he couldn’t understand the pushback from all these station managers who didn’t want to acquire my program,” DeGeneres said in a 2016 interview with the Telegraph.

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

“They said: she’s a gay woman, and the women watching daytime TV at home are heterosexual housewives with children — what does she have in common with them?” So Jim responded, “We’re going on tour, and you’ll show them who you are.” As a result, I had to travel from city to city. These men would be forced to come out and sit in the crowd. They were glancing around to see who was in the audience.”

In 2004, she began dating “Arrested Development” actress Portia de Rossi, and the two married in 2008.

ALSO READ: Wordle: The Contentious Response Was Unintentional – New York Times 

DeGeneres’ pioneering work for the LGBTQ community, as well as her upbeat and down-to-earth persona, garnered her widespread popular admiration that lasted two decades. She rose to prominence as the queen of wholesome comedy, with content that families can enjoy together without fear of foul jokes or zingers.

She also participated as a guest judge on “American Idol” in 2010, winning 30 Emmys and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom (awarded in 2016).

Following Hurricane Katrina, she was repeatedly recruited to host award events such as the Grammys (in 1996 and 1997), the Oscars (in 2007 and 2014), and the Emmys (in 2001 and 2005), when she was tasked with the onerous duty of generating a celebratory environment in the aftermath of national sorrow. DeGeneres seemed a safe pick as a presenter, in contrast to industry peers like Ricky Gervais, who is notorious for joyfully hurling obscenities.

Her public image is epitomized in her most famous Oscars moment, which is a massive group selfie of A-listers rather than a cutting remark about Leonardo DiCaprio’s dating life. It’s cute, but not particularly scathing.

ALSO READ: Why Chris Evans Replaced Tim Allen As Buzz Lightyear, According To A Lightyear Producer? 

Her viewership mostly consisted of women in the “mom” demographic once “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” became a pop culture mainstay. Her celebrity interviews often didn’t uncover crucial details; instead, they went viral for harmlessly amusing quirks like Kristen Bell’s sloth fixation.

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

However, there were clues along the line that DeGeneres wasn’t putting her “be kind” mantra into practice. For example, when Mariah Carey went on “Ellen” in 2008, DeGeneres pressed the pop diva to reveal her pregnancy on television.

“I’m shocked you did this to me, Ellen… When DeGeneres handed her Champagne, Carey stated on-screen, “This is peer pressure.” “You’re pregnant!” DeGeneres exclaimed as Carey pretended to take a sip.

Carey unfortunately miscarried her child. In 2011, she gave birth to twins with her ex-husband Nick Cannon. “All I can say is that I was incredibly uncomfortable with that moment,” Carey told Vulture in August about her “Ellen” appearance. “And I’ve had a difficult time dealing with the fallout.” Because I’d experienced a miscarriage, I wasn’t ready to tell anyone. I don’t want to put someone under the bus who is already being thrown, but I didn’t enjoy that moment.”

ALSO READ: Two-week suspension for Whoopi Goldberg at ABC due to remarks on the Holocaust

Apart from Carey’s interview, there have been a few stray awkward moments, such as DeGeneres accusing Dakota Johnson of not inviting her to her birthday party in 2019.

“Actually, Ellen, that is not the case,” Johnson answered.

Even before “Ellen” was formally investigated for its toxic workplace environment, in March of 2020, rumors about DeGeneres’ behavior began to circulate, thanks to a viral Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter asking people to respond “with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean.”

Anecdotes abound in his responses, including one from Chris Farah, a former waiter who said she previously served DeGeneres.

“She complained to the owner about my cracked nail paint in a letter” (not that it was on her plate but just that it was on my hand). Farah recounted, “I had worked till closing the night before and this was the next morning, almost got me fired.”

There Is A Story Behind Ellen DeGeneres's Climb To Fame And Subsequent Decline

“My pal wrote for the Ellen Show for two years and told me Ellen didn’t greet her once,” another admirer claimed. In fact, employees were warned not to speak to her when they started.”

Benjamin Siemon (“Crazy Ex Girlfriend”), a writer and comedian, stated that DeGeneres had strange restrictions about her staff’ hygiene.

“Because she has a’sensitive nose,’ everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before speaking with her, and if she feels you stink that day, you must go home and shower,” he explained.

“Every day she picks someone different to truly detest,” he continued to a new staff member. “It’s not your fault; just put up with it for the day, and the next day she’ll be rude to someone else.” They didn’t trust it at first, but it turned out to be completely accurate.”

These testimonies depicted a despotic picture of DeGeneres, which is a far cry from her “kind” reputation — and from the underdog she began with after her coming-out moment and subsequent response.

The probe into “Ellen’s” workplace occurred after Variety reported in April that staff workers were “furious” after “Ellen” abandoned them with no contact about their future employment once the epidemic struck.

Even now, with the dominos falling on “Ellen,” it’s not all black and white, since not everyone sees her as a villain.

“The reality is, there’s a lot of gratitude among her employees that she didn’t just resign after last summer, and has kept them all employed this season during a pandemic,” a person close to the production told The Washington Post. And now they all get to work for a new season the following year.”

“This culture we’re living is… one where you can’t learn and evolve, which is, as human beings, what we’re here to do,” DeGeneres said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday about the end of “Ellen.”

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LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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