Ellen DeGeneres recounts ‘devastating’ end of long-running show for being ‘mean’: ‘I got kicked out'

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the Michelle Obama: The Light We Carry Tour at Warner Theatre on November 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Live Nation)

Ellen DeGeneres opened up about the toxic workplace scandal that derailed her career and damaged her reputation in 2020, during her first return to the comedy stage this week.

During a stand-up routine in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the former host of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" reflected on getting "kicked out of show business" for being "mean."

"What else can I tell you?" she sarcastically told fans, according to Rolling Stone. "Oh yeah, I got kicked out of show business. There’s no mean people in show business." 

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" was rocked by bombshell accusations of a toxic work environment in 2020, followed by several former employee testimonials of sexually inappropriate behavior by ousted producers. One producer had also reportedly been at the heart of the complaints of poor workplace culture.


The year of brutal headlines damaged the host’s reputation, leading to DeGeneres announcing the end of her show in 2021 and apologizing to staff. The final episode aired in May of 2022. 

On Wednesday, DeGeneres said that the damage from these allegations turned her into a "one-dimensional character who gave stuff away and danced up steps."

Admitting she "didn't know how to be a boss" and didn't "go to business school," DeGeneres also suggested her gender and sexuality played a role in the vitriol she faced.

DeGeneres brought up how her eponymous sitcom in the 1990s was canceled after she announced she was a lesbian, telling the crowd "there are consequences" for not prescribing to gender roles, according to Rolling Stone.

"For those of you keeping score, this is the second time I’ve been kicked out of show business…Eventually they’re going to kick me out for a third time because I’m mean, old, and gay," she joked.

DeGeneres confessed the backlash she faced took a toll on how she viewed herself.

"It’s been such a toll on my ego and my self-esteem. There’s such extremes in this business, people either love you and idolize you or they hate you, and those people somehow are louder," she said.

After her set, during an audience Q&A, the comedian turned more somber when reflecting on how her show ended.

"Honestly, I’m making jokes about what happened to me but it was devastating, really," she said. "I just hated the way the show ended. I love that show so much and I just hated that the last time people would see me is that way." 


Fox News' Julius Young contributed to this report. Read more of this story from FOX News