Seven Celebrities Who Won't Be Sad to See Ellen Go

Ellen DeGeneres will sign off on her long-running talk show for the final time on Thursday, marking the end of an era after 19 seasons on the air.

Following its 2003 debut, The Ellen DeGeneres Show quickly shot to popularity with viewers and earned a reputation as an outlet for many of Hollywood's most famous celebrities to let their hair down on their often punishing promotional tours.

With DeGeneres, 64, also regularly shining a spotlight on everyday people on the syndicated show, the comedian appeared to provide her guests and staffers with the ideal, fun-filled workplace where the laughs constantly flowed.

However, much of that showbiz stardust was blown away in July 2020, when Buzzfeed News published an article in which numerous allegations were made about the program being a toxic work environment behind the scenes.

Ellen DeGeneres' tall show ends
As Ellen DeGeneres' (top left) talk show comes to an end, Newsweek has taken a look at the celebrities who have shared less-than-adoring words about the TV personality over the years. Pictured clockwise from top right are Mark Ruffalo, Brad Garrett, and Caitlyn Jenner. WireImage/GC Images/FilmMagic

In a segment at the start of season 18 of the show in September 2020, DeGeneres said of the reports: "I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected."

Her on-air statement followed a memo the star had sent to staffers on her show, in which she wrote: "As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly, some didn't. That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."

Unfortunately for DeGeneres, the allegations proved to be the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as a host of people stepped forward to share less-than-flattering assessments of the popular TV personality.

Newsweek has taken a look at seven celebrities who have been publicly critical of DeGeneres and her show in recent years.

1. Brad Garrett

Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett famously called DeGeneres out on Twitter days after the workplace allegations arose, saying she was "responsible" for what went on behind the scenes while she was at the helm.

Garrett—who also provided a voiceover for Pixar's Finding Nemo with DeGeneres—claimed that the presenter's alleged mean behavior was "common knowledge."

Commenting on a Variety article about the controversy, Garrett tweeted: "Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow," he tweeted, tagging DeGeneres. "Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge."

Garrett, who appears to have since deleted the tweet in question, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show six times between 2004 and 2007.

2. Lea Thompson

Actress Lea Thompson, who is perhaps best known for starring in the classic movie Back to the Future, backed up Garrett's claim.

Responding to a People magazine article about Garrett's tweet, Thompson kept her statement short and to the point, as she tweeted: "True story. It is."

3. Mark Ruffalo

Criticism of DeGeneres came from Marvel star Mark Ruffalo in October 2019, when he criticized her for her friendship with former President George W. Bush.

DeGeneres spoke out on her talk show, responding to people politicizing her, a "gay Hollywood liberal," sitting next to the controversial former Republican president, at an NFL game just days beforehand.

"I'm friends with George Bush," DeGeneres said. "I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have. We're all different. And I think that we've forgotten that that's OK that we're all different."

However, The Avengers actor shot back on social media that "we can't even begin to talk about kindness" until Bush, the president who led the U.S. into the Iraq War in 2003, was held to account for "the crimes" that were committed as a result of the invasion.

Ruffalo tweeted: "Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars—emotional & otherwise—inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can't even begin to talk about kindness."

4. Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon was also among those who shared their disapproval of DeGeneres' friendship with Bush, whose second presidential term ended in 2009.

Taking to Twitter, the Oscar-winning actress shared a link to an Out article titled, "Ellen is 'Friends' with Bush — but He was No Friend to LGBTQ+ People."

The screen star also shared a quote that said DeGeneres was "missing the point entirely" by "framing the issue as simply a matter of her hanging out with someone with different opinions, not a man repeatedly accused of being a war criminal."

5. Caitlyn Jenner

Erstwhile California gubernatorial candidate and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner caused a stir when, during a 2015 appearance on DeGeneres' show, she said when asked about same-sex marriage: "At first, I was not for it."

During an interview with Howard Stern, DeGeneres later accused Jenner, who is transgender, of passing "judgment against gay people and marriage."

Years later, when she was interviewed by Bravo's Andy Cohen, Jenner said: "I got burnt by Ellen on marriage equality," adding that DeGeneres had asked her to talk about her evolving views on marriage equality before the televised interview.

"I kind of explained my progression," said Jenner, "but then all of a sudden, Ellen comes back and says, 'Sounds like you're really not for it.' I said, 'No I just said I was for it but it was a progression.' She went on Howard Stern and kind of upped the ante and Howard goes, 'Yeah, I can't believe Caitlyn's not for marriage equality.'"

6. Kathy Griffin

It has long been the clash of the comedians for DeGeneres and Kathy Griffin, who wrote in her 2016 book, Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index, about a series of celebrities, though she didn't directly name the talk show host.

"I'm almost positive a certain beloved daytime talk show host once had me kicked out of a backstage dressing room at the Emmy Awards," Griffin wrote, per Us Weekly. "I can't prove it, but this person, who has short blonde hair, has a mean streak that all of Hollywood knows about."

Showing that the bad blood has long existed, DeGeneres didn't mince her words regarding Griffin, calling her "very mean" in an interview with W magazine in 2007.

"I know she had a big thing about wanting to be on the show...She did a whole thing that I banned her from the show," DeGeneres said. "I didn't ban her from the show, because first, you have to be on the show to be banned."

Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin's bad blood with Ellen DeGeneres goes back several years. Griffin is pictured above attending the premiere of HBO's "George Carlin's American Dream" at Avalon Hollywood & Bardot on May 11, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

And there's more. In 2016, Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter that she received a harsh call from DeGeneres about her Celebrity Run-Ins book.

"[DeGeneres] was extremely upset, and I think she had a thought that she was going to, like, put me in my place, or whatever, but as you know I'm not shut-uppable," Griffin said. "We kind of got into it... I admire her and, you know, it was a difficult conversation. But hey, it came with the territory."

In November of 2016, Griffin told Access Hollywood that her less-than-friendly relationship with DeGeneres stemmed from her alleged feud with the late Joan Rivers, who passed away in 2014.

Griffin said: "In my very last dinner with Joan Rivers, we would always check in with each other, and I'd be like, 'Where are you with Ellen?' and she'd be like, 'Ugh, still hates me!' And she'd go, 'Well, what about you?' and I'd say, 'Oh, she thinks I'm mean.'"

"The truth is, I guess I feel like I'm sticking up for a pal...There's so few female comics over 50...I wish we were better at supporting each other."

7. Piers Morgan

DeGeneres left British TV personality Piers Morgan unimpressed when she wished chart-topping singer Katy Perry a happy birthday on Twitter back in 2017.

"Happy birthday, @KatyPerry! It's time to bring out the big balloons!" DeGeneres wrote, in reference a line from her track "Birthday."

The talk show host added a photo of herself ogling Perry's bosom, prompting backlash from a number of social media users. Adding his voice to the chorus of detractors, Morgan tweeted: "If a man made this joke, Ellen would lead the cries of 'SEXIST PIG!'"

Morgan also criticized DeGeneres in 2016, after she displayed a shirtless snapshot of Chris Hemsworth while making a speech at the People's Choice Awards.

"I was disgusted," Morgan wrote in his Daily Mail column. "In fact, I've never been so offended by anything in my entire life."

While DeGeneres has had her fair share of celebrity detractors, she also has many more famous supporters, including Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish and Pink, who will appear on the final episode of her show.

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