Ellen DeGeneres: ‘I Am Many Things, But I Am Not Mean’

Ellen DeGeneres Rebuffs Criticism I Am Many Things But I Am Not Mean
Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Ellen DeGeneres is using her return to stand-up comedy as a way to address her controversial past. 

DeGeneres, 66, took the stage in Santa Rosa, California on Monday, July 1 as part of her Ellen’s Last Stand…Up tour, where she commented on reports about her behavior surrounding the end of her daytime talk show in May 2022.

“I am many things, but I am not mean,” DeGeneres told the near-capacity crowd, according to SFGATE.

In July 2020, 11 current and former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show spoke to Buzzfeed News alleging a toxic work environment behind-the-scenes. The report came months after comedian Kevin T. Porter began a thread on social media asking people to share their stories about “Ellen being mean.”


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While DeGeneres stood up for herself, she also acknowledged she can be a tough boss. 

​​“I can be demanding and impatient and tough. I am a strong woman,” she told the crowd.

The comedian also candidly admitted that the scandal and subsequent fallout has broken down some of her walls. 

“I used to say, ‘I don’t care what people say about me,’” DeGeneres noted. “Now I realize I said that during the height of my popularity.”

DeGeneres is on the road preparing for her final stand-up special, which was announced in May and will stream on Netflix. A release date has not been announced. 

“To answer the questions everyone is asking me, yes, I’m going to talk about it. Yes this is my last special,” DeGeneres said when the special was announced. 

Ellen DeGeneres Rebuffs Criticism I Am Many Things But I Am Not Mean
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Live Nation

Not only will it be her final special, DeGeneres said she plans on disappearing from the public eye once it’s released. 

Ellen DeGeneres Through the Years

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Ellen DeGeneres has become a legend in her own right since she hit the spotlight in the late 1970s — though there have been some bumps along the way. The talk show host started out as a stand-up comedian in her native Louisiana after leaving the University of New Orleans just one semester into her studies […]

During a Q&A segment following her set on Monday, a fan asked DeGeneres if “we will see you on Broadway or movies.”

“Um, no,” DeGeneres answered. “This is the last time you’re going to see me. After my Netflix special, I’m done.”

DeGeneres doubled down when another fan asked if she would ever reprise her role of Dory — who she voiced in 2003’s Finding Nemo and 2016’s Finding Dory in another Pixar film.

She said, “No. I’m going bye-bye, remember?”

Ellen’s Last Stand…Up tour criss-crosses North America this summer, wrapping up with three dates at Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theater in mid-August. 

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