Can Ellen DeGeneres Recover Following ‘MTV Movie’ Awards ‘Reign of Terror’ Mocking?

The Ellen DeGeneres Show will end after 19 seasons on the air. The talk show’s host claims it’s a decision that’s been in the works for years. With last year’s reports of toxicity in the workplace, the timing, according to fans and haters alike, is curious.

The latest controversy came during the MTV Movie & TV Awards with a mock Memorium featuring Scott Disick, Bachelor Nation’s Chris Harrison, and Degeneres. Is it all par for the course or can the talk show host ever recover her “be kind” brand?

Ellen DeGeneres was openly mocked in MTV parody

Ellen DeGeneres appears on 'The Late Late Show with James Corden' wearing a black suit as she sits in a chair, smiling.
The Late Late Show with James Corden with guest Ellen DeGeneres | Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images

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Just after DeGeneres announced the end of an era, the MTV Movie & TV Awards took one last hit at the star.

“I’d now like to take a somber-slash-awkward moment to acknowledge all that we’ve lost in the world of unscripted entertainment this year,’ host Nikki Glaser said. The screen showed black and white photos set to a montage with time stamps from the year’s biggest moments — including DeGeneres on the set of her show.

The image had the words “Ellen’s reign of terror 2003-2021,” alluding to toxic workplace allegations that surfaced in 2020. Audible applause ensued, reminding all who support DeGeneres that there are still some who have different feelings on the matter.

Did scathing reports of toxic workplace contribute to Ellen DeGenres’ exit from the show?

RELATED: A 2018 Employee Complaint Suggests ‘Ellen Show’ Toxicity Has a Long Track Record

Misconduct allegations initially emerged via a July 2020 BuzzFeed article that detailed a “toxic” environment. Reports included sexual harassment and racial inequities among staff.

The news continued through the course of the summer with fans weighing in on uncomfortable meet-n-greets, strict workplace rules (like no gum-chewing), and random encounters with DeGeneres. All of this took a cut out of her “be kind” reputation.

In mid-May, DeGeneres announced at the start of her show that she would not return for season 20. She added that it had nothing to do with last year’s controversy.

“If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year,” she told Today. “I really did think about not coming back, because it was devastating. It started with attacks on me and attacking everything that I stand for and believe in and built my career around. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy.”  

In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the star revealed the real reason she decided to cut ties with the show.

“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,” she said.

What will become of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and her brand?

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Rumors of who might replace DeGeneres have run amuck. Tiffany Haddish is reportedly on the shortlist as she’s guest-hosted multiple times.

“I haven’t commented on it because ain’t nobody that give those jobs talk to me about it,” she told The Breakfast Club. “The reason I’ve even been popping up guest-hosting Ellen is because she wanted some days off.”

It’s not clear if execs are seriously entertaining her hire or if she’s really interested.

“I’m learning a new skill, that’s it. Y’all just watching me learn in front of everybody,” she said. “I don’t know if that’s grooming me to take over because ain’t nobody talk to me about that. Ain’t nobody said nothing to me about that.” 

Time will tell who steps into the role or whether DeGeneres can ever recover from the slew of complaints against her, and her brand. Maybe time out of the spotlight will give the star some much-needed ambiguity the last year hasn’t afforded.