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Tearful Ellen explains plan to cancel show as former producer says ‘viewers disappointed with phoniness’

·3-min read
<p>File image: US comedian Ellen DeGeneres introduces Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards</p> (Getty Images)

File image: US comedian Ellen DeGeneres introduces Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards

(Getty Images)

A former producer for Ellen, the show helmed by Ellen DeGeneres, has said viewers who were disappointed with the “phoniness” of the US comedian, mired in a racism and bullying controversy, have spoken.

DeGeneres announced that she is going to end her daytime talk show next year and the upcoming season will be the last one.

Soon after the news was announced, former Ellen producer Hedda Muskat said on Australian breakfast show Sunrise: “The viewers have spoken. Her ratings have been in the toilet for a long, long time now, her show has not been fun, it has not been interesting.”

“And she is not really, by the way, stepping down, the viewers fired her,” she added. She said viewers feel “duped.”

“I think the viewers are disappointed in the phoniness she’s been projecting as this ‘nice person.’ So I feel that the viewers feel duped, in a way, that she’s not this nice person,” Ms Muskat said.

“The viewers are not going to put up with the backstage racism that goes on and the backstage bullying that goes on. So I think the viewers have woken up, finally,” she said.

The award-winning producer accused the actor of not being able to connect with “real people as she couldn’t carry a conversation with them.”

Describing her personal experience at the show, Ms Muskat said that she was brought on during the first tier in 2003 to book the human-interest guests, and people that were news breakers.

“She loved kissing a** with all the celebrities and she really was not in a position to interview real people because she really couldn’t carry a conversation with them,” she said.

When asked about DeGeneres’ sit down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss the ending of the show, Ms Muskat said: “Frankly I am very disappointed that Oprah is lowering herself to interview Ellen. Oprah can interview kings and queens and I watch and love Oprah and I miss her and for her to interview Ellen, it’s like why? Who cares about Ellen anymore?” she said.

In the past year, Ellen has faced allegations related to having a toxic workplace culture.

“There were over 100 employees over 19 years that walked away with a sickened feeling about working there,” she said.

“As much as I loved my job as a booker and producer, I was almost relieved when I got fired... I wanted to take a shower, it was like a whole new dawn. I don’t feel like she has the trust anymore of the viewers, and so I don’t think she is going to come back anytime soon,” she said in the scathing interview.

On Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen Show, the 63-year-old talk show host said: “I am announcing that next season 19 is going to be my last season.”

She told The Hollywood Reporter: “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.”

DeGeneres will be speaking to Winfrey on 14 May.

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