In her “Today” interview Thursday morning, Ellen DeGeneres called the scandal that plagued her last summer “misogynistic” and “orchestrated.”
But her video chat with Oprah Winfrey struck a different tone, presenting two celebrities bonding over the rare experience of hosting a long-running daytime talk show and then ending it.
“Listen, it’s almost 10 years ago ... when I was in this exact position. I know what those feelings are. I also know the feelings leading up to it,” Winfrey said in the interview, which was taped Wednesday for broadcast on Thursday’s “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
DeGeneres told the Hollywood Reporter Wednesday that her show will be ending with its upcoming 19th season. Despite last year’s drama over allegations of a toxic workplace, the 63-year-old maintains that she made the decision two years ago, when she signed a final three-year contract to do the syndicated program.
“Hearing you say, and announcing to the world, that it was your instinct and you thought long and hard about it — because anybody would know that for something that is as powerful as the show is in other people’s lives, that you would not take that lightly,” Winfrey continued.
DeGeneres told Winfrey the same thing she told THR: She’s a creative person, and she needs a new challenge. That’s why she has done things like returning to stand-up comedy, she said.
Winfrey predicted that among all the relationships linked to the show, DeGeneres would, like herself, miss the audience the most.
“I don’t mean just, oh, audience applause,” Winfrey said. “I always felt like I was a surrogate viewer and that I was there representing the audience. ... I really missed the camaraderie with the audience.” She said she used to chat with her audience every day after the show was taped.
She told DeGeneres, “I think you will miss the camaraderie of the audience, but you are also are out in the world — if you choose to do stand-up or not do stand-up — you get some of that feeling, that resonance from an audience.”
DeGeneres said she was missing her audience already, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.