Ellen DeGeneres is reflecting on how her talk show came to an end

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Originally appeared on E! Online

Ellen DeGeneres is laying it all out.

Two years after walking away from her eponymous daytime talk show — which was mired in allegations of a toxic workplace during its final years — the comedian reflected on the controversy and its impact on her.

“I got kicked out of show business,” DeGeneres quipped during her stand-up comedy set at the Coronet Theater in West Hollywood April 24, per Rolling Stone. “There’s no mean people in show business.”

“The ‘be kind’ girl wasn’t kind,” the 66-year-old continued. “I became this one-dimensional character who gave stuff away and danced up steps. Do you know how hard it is to dance up steps? Would a mean person dance up steps?”

In 2020, 11 current and former “Ellen DeGeneres Show” employees detailed their experience on the talk show, which they described as a toxic work environment, in an explosive BuzzFeed News report. Some mentioned facing microaggressions, favoritism by executive producers and claims of unexpected terminations.

Former Ellen DeGeneres Show Employees Claim They Were Subjected to ”Toxic Work Environment”

In addition to an internal memo vowing to make improvements, the comedian apologized in the season 18 premiere opening monologue, adding, “I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”

When the show went off the air two years later, DeGeneres maintained it wasn’t due to the workplace allegations but rather her feeling like it was time. But after keeping a low profile in the years since, she’s back on the stage for her comedy show, “Ellen’s Last Stand…Up Tour.”

And for her, it appears returning to her comedy roots is also a way to unpack the tumult from the show. After all, she also admitted she “didn’t know how to be a boss.”

“I didn’t go to business school,” she continued. “I went to Charlie’s Chuckle Hutt. The show was called Ellen and everybody was wearing T-shirts that said ‘Ellen’ and there were buildings on the Warner Brothers lot that said ‘Ellen,’ but I don’t know that meant I should be in charge.”

She also drew parallels to the 1998 cancellation of her sitcom “Ellen,” which came as a result of her coming out as gay.

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

More than that, however, the comedian expressed being in a difficult place, sharing insight while opening up about her mom Betty DeGeneres’ battle with dementia and her own struggle in this new chapter in her life.

“My mother doesn’t know she’s my mother,” she explained, “and I’m trying to figure out who I am without my show.”

It’s time for the curtain to close at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Ellen took to social media this week to announce that she had taped the final episode of her long-running namesake talk show, which will air on May 26.

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