Thursday, July 7

The End of Ellen’s Show Means How Celebrity Culture Has Changed | Ellen Degeneres

TOAfter 17 years as a daytime television staple, Ellen DeGeneres puts an end to her self-titled talk show. The host, 63, revealed to the Hollywood reporter that the show’s current season 18, ending in 2022, will be its last. And while the comedian, whose 1997 Time magazine cover that came out (“Yes, I’m Gay”) marked a watershed moment in LGBTQ representation in Hollywood, attributed the show’s conclusion to the fact that the presenter’s job “just wasn’t anymore. a challenge, “the end seems to be approaching a long time, the inevitable conclusion of challenges far beyond her satisfaction with the role of America’s friend during the day.

DeGeneres based his reputation on the motto “be nice,” a soft kindness that drew almost every A-lister to his couch at least once and brought a glow of celebrity-friendly rapport to mass audiences before the networks. democratized the stars’ relationships with their fans, and peppered the talk show genre with video-worthy viral games (to which Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show’s celebrity carnival owes a great debt). But the mark of kindness has faded after one Buzzfeed Exposé on alleged sexual harassment, racial insensitivity, and behind-the-scenes harassment (based on interviews with 36 former employees), as well as widespread impatience with out-of-touch celebrity culture accelerated by the pandemic.

In other words, it was about time Ellen left. I can’t comment on how challenged Ellen feels personally hosting the show after 3,000 episodes and 2,400 interviews with truly impressive celebrities (imagine what that ubiquity of superficial goodness does to your brain). But it does seem very clear that the monotony of “being nice” could not overcome the turbulence of last year: the Buzzfeed report, the subsequent firing of three main producers, the largest post- # MeToo and Black Live Matter-propelled recognition. culture about toxic workplaces and widespread disdain for the false platitudes of isolated and disconnected celebrities.

That’s not to say that Ellen’s reign as daytime TV host was not a major milestone in representation, and surely her presence, outspoken and unashamed, though rarely political, did much to normalize the LGBTQ presence on television in ways They seem ridiculously dated. younger audiences now, a testament to how quickly (albeit imperfectly) LGBTQ representation has flourished on screen. His eponymous daytime show, which premiered in 2003, was “the most difficult show we’ve had to launch in the history of our company,” said a Warner Bros. executive. told the Hollywood reporter in 2012.

Ellen DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton
Ellen DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

DeGeneres built her reputation during the day as a mainstream, celebrity-friendly, and awkward-avoiding star, an image further cemented by her voice as the wacky character Dory in the Pixar hit Finding Nemo. DeGeneres was the captivating voice behind one of the most ubiquitous and beloved animated characters of the 2000s, a milestone in itself for an LGBTQ star.

That image has been cracked and strained in recent years, as DeGeneres herself acknowledged in a 2018 New York Times. profile in which she talked about feeling locked in by her personable daytime persona, ahead of her Netflix special Relatable, which reversed expectations that the comic, long settled in Hollywood’s wealth bubble, could be the friend of an everyday viewer. .

In hindsight, the profile reads like a mild defense of the mini-scandals slowly hammering nails into Ellen’s coffin: outbreaks that provoked teasing on Twitter but never seemed to affect her daytime audience, evidence of the thickest. that -Is supposed to be the firewall between the Very Online knowledge and the rest of America. There was his deaf shield to comedian Kevin Hart after he quit his job as a host over past homophobic tweets. There were the photos with George W Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game, which she defended with the empty reprimand that “I am friends with many people who do not share the same beliefs as me. We are all different. And I think we have forgotten that it is okay that we are all different. “

There was the gentle but easily readable disdain on the part of guest Dakota Johnson, refusing to play along with DeGeneres’ aw-shucks “why didn’t you invite me to your birthday party?” jokes (“You were invited,” said Johnson). There was a time in April 2020 when she compared quarantined in his California mansion to “be in jail.” There was the call from comedian Kevin T Porter on Twitter for Ellen’s horror stories, which got 2,000 responses with stories (without foundation) of his supposed rudeness and rights behind the scenes.

Perhaps nothing was more damning than a good old-fashioned exposition, which capitalized on Twitter buildup and general workplace reckoning throughout last summer’s burning with actual details reported from the Ellen Show class away set. The report’s anchor’s defensive distancing likely only accelerated the momentum of dwindling interest in her show (ratings They’ve been falling dramatically for a while), even as her Hollywood guests stayed on the book (on cover this week: Daytime Titan friend and partner Oprah Winfrey).

But the ultimate death sentence may have simply been the rapidity of the culture shining beyond Ellen’s eponymous brand of sincere kindness, especially if said brand seemed increasingly strained and inauthentic. With each dent in the show’s facade, his plea to “be nice” was revealed not so much bland as forced and false, a kiss of death in an age with increasingly little patience from audiences for celebrity acts who didn’t. They are in the least. self-aware, or aware. Once in the forefront, Ellen found herself struggling to catch up.

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