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Ellen DeGeneres Starts Tour, Jokes ‘I Got Kicked Out of Show Business’

April 26, 2024 - Music

62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards – Backstage, Ellen DeGeneres
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Ellen DeGeneres is still reeling from the end of her talk show — which was shrouded in scandal after toxic workplace allegations — but that doesn’t mean she can’t laugh at herself.

When DeGeneres, 66, kicked off her Ellen’s Last Stand … Up Tour on Wednesday, April 24, in West Hollywood, she wasn’t afraid to poke fun at her own career downfall.

“What else can I tell you?” she told the sold-out crowd during the show, according to Rolling Stone, before declaring, “Oh yeah, I got kicked out of show business.”

DeGeneres trolled herself, adding, “There’s no mean people in show business.”

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The comedian teased that her iconic parting line on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, “Be kind to one another,” couldn’t save her from the controversy that engulfed the show in 2020.

“The ‘be kind’ girl wasn’t kind,” she 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? Had I ended my show by saying, ‘Go f–k yourself,’ people would’ve been pleasantly surprised.”

DeGeneres made headlines in 2020 when she was accused of producing a “toxic work environment” during her 19-season run. WarnerMedia launched an investigation that July into the allegations and DeGeneres sent a letter of apology to her staff.

Although she continued to film throughout 2020, DeGeneres announced in 2021 that season 19 would be the last. Her final episode aired in May 2022.

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The fallout over how the show concluded and the stain on her reputation is something DeGeneres hasn’t fully moved on from. In fact, she admitted on Wednesday that as she’s looked back she’s realized she was a boss who “didn’t know how to be a boss” despite being the face of the show.

“I didn’t go to business school. I went to Charlie’s Chuckle Hutt,” DeGeneres told the audience, referring to her comedy background. “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 that meant I should be in charge.”

DeGeneres also joked that the talk show drama wasn’t the first time Hollywood pushed her out. In the 1990s, she made waves by announcing on her sitcom, Ellen, that she was gay. The revelation didn’t sit well with the network.

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

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While DeGeneres had the audience in stitches according to Rolling Stone, much of her set was about the heartbreak of losing The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“I’m giving stuff away … and I danced, then I was mean and they didn’t like me again,” she said of her downfall. “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.”

During an encore, DeGeneres took questions from the audience and opened up even more about her long road back into the spotlight after the talk show drama.

“Honestly, I’m making jokes about what happened to me, but it was devastating, really,” she confessed. “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.”

Ellen’s Last Stand … Up Tour continues throughout July along the West Coast, including dates in Washington, Oregon and California.


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