Ellen DeGeneres Said Workplace Misconduct Allegations on Her Show Were "Too Orchestrated"

DeGeneres spoke out in her first TV interview after announcing the end of her show.

Ellen DeGeneres has spoken out in her first TV interview following the news that her talk show would be ending after 19 seasons, denying that she knew about allegations of a toxic work environment on her show, suggesting the allegations were "orchestrated."

In a pre-taped interview airing Thursday on The TODAY Show, DeGeneres told Savannah Guthrie that the accusations of a toxic environment, which came to light in reports last year, were "devastating," and she "never saw anything that would even point to that."

Last year, DeGeneres apologized to staffers as the show was investigated for workplace misconduct allegations. Three producers were fired from the show after dozens of former employees alleged that they had engaged in sexual misconduct with employees or in the workplace.

Speaking to Guthrie, DeGeneres denied knowledge of misconduct behind the scenes, because her celebrity guests in front of the camera were having a good time.

"I really didn't understand it, I still don't understand it. It was too orchestrated, it was too coordinated," she said. "People get picked on, but for four months straight for me, and for me to read in the press about a toxic work environment when all I've ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is, and how — what a happy place it is."

"I don't know how I could have known when there's 255 employees here and there are a lot of different buildings," she said about the allegations. "Unless I literally stayed here until the last person goes home at night. I do wish somebody would have come to me and said, 'Hey, something's going on that you should know about.'"

DeGeneres described herself as a "kind person" who liked to "make people happy," and denied that her show was ending because of the allegations.

In a statement on Wednesday, she announced that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be ending after 19 seasons, and that this has been the plan for the last three years.

"When you're a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore," she said.

"We [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That's been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, 'You know, that's going to be 19, don't you want to just go to 20? It's a good number.' So is 19."

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