Following the announcement that Ellen DeGeneres will quit her talk show after 18 months of scandal, a question from Oprah Winfrey left her speechless.
Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres show, Oprah mostly avoided bombshell questions, instead asking questions like “How are you actually feeling? How are you really feeling?” of her friend of over 25 years.
Winfrey also ignored the many allegations of bullying, misconduct, and a toxic workplace environment that have plagued The Ellen Show recently.
It wasn’t until Oprah brought up one topic that the very real differences between the two stars was revealed.
Ellen appeared visibly uncomfortable as Oprah spoke about the guilt she felt finishing The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011 after 25 seasons and the knowledge that the decision would affect the huge team of employees that had “built their financial life” on the show continuing.
“When you have a large staff as you do, as I did, that staff becomes your family. These are your tribe; these are your people. You would not be who you are without those people doing the work that a lot of people don’t recognise is going on behind the scenes,” Oprah said.
“You often don’t think, as I often didn’t think, when you’re looking at people: Car insurance, mortgages, college educations being paid … for everybody on that staff, they have built their financial life, their family life, based on this show,” she continued.
“For me that was hard too.”
Ellen couldn’t hide her discomfort by that point, looking off camera and fidgeting with her hands.
Staying silent, Oprah moved the conversation along and the show soon went to a commercial break.
At another point in the interview, Oprah told her friend she expected she would “miss the camaraderie of the audience” once The Ellen Show wraps up next year, and asked Ellen what it had been like telling the crew.
“It was hard,” Ellen said. “There were tears … It was really hard.”
“I DO love everyone here, we DO have a relationship … I wanted to give them a year to celebrate with me and stay with me.”
But just hours after Ellen’s announcement, former producer Hedda Muskat slammed the host in an explosive interview with Sunrise.
Muskat was one of the first producers hired during the show’s debut season and claimed viewers had finally “woken up” to Ellen’s true nature.
“The viewers have spoken. Her ratings have been in the toilet for a long time now. Her show has not been fun, it has not been interesting, and she’s not really ‘stepping down’ – the viewers fired her,” she said.
When asked what she thought DeGeneres should do after her show comes to an end, Muskat said her former employer should “work on a farm with all of the animals and the pets and the dogs and the cows and the pigs because she can relate to animals far more than she does with people.”
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