Rosie O’Donnell opens up about Ellen DeGeneres’ ‘complicated’ daytime exit

Rosie O’Donnell opens up about Ellen DeGeneres’ ‘complicated’ daytime exit

Comedian and actor Rosie O’Donnell weighed in on American comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres’ upcoming departure from her daytime talk show.

As per Entertainment Weekly, O’Donnell, who hosted ‘The Rosie O’Donnell Show’ from 1996 to 2002, stopped by ‘The Jess Cagle Show’ on Sirius XM this week and discussed DeGeneres’ recent decision to end her talk show in 2022, after 19 seasons. 

During her appearance on ‘The Jess Cagle Show’, O’Donnell said that she thought the situation surrounding DeGeneres’ departure was more “complicated” than people may think. As fans might recall, DeGeneres’ announcement came in May, as season 18 came to a close and after ratings began to take a hit following behind-the-scenes claims of workplace toxicity.

DeGeneres had opened the season in fall 2020 with a monologue in which she said being known as the “be kind” lady was a “tricky position to be in,” and joked that if anyone was thinking of renaming themselves as such, to not.

After O’Donnell shared her own experiences helming a show that saw her garner a similar title, she told Cagle that she saw DeGeneres’ exit as being more involved than the “be kind” title coming back to haunt her.

“I don’t think it was the ‘be kind’ thing that got her,” O’Donnell said. She added, “I think that’s an oversimplification. But it was a lot of things, and it was complicated, and I’m glad that she’s, you know, going to be finished and she can get some time to herself.”

O’Donnell suggested there’s a weight that comes with being the sole person to front a popular show.

“It’s a huge kind of strange thing to be on a show like that, and have all that attention on you,” she said. The comedian added, “And she had it for like 19 years. So, you know, it’s a tough thing.”

Cagle introduced the subject by asking O`Donnell if her “Queen of Nice” nickname caused similar problems. “Not in the way that Ellen’s talking about, I think,” O’Donnell said. 

She added, “But you know, I said the day it came out, ‘Look at this, the Queen of Nice. And [in] a couple of years, it’s going to be the Queen of Lice, the Queen of Fried Rice, you know, the Queen of We Don’t Like Her Anymore.'” 

O’Donnell, who also cohosted ‘The View’ and later had her own radio show, added, “I have an understanding of the cycle of show business, and kind of what happens in people’s careers, and when enough is enough. And oftentimes people don’t know that. I think I have a good balance of both in my life – of the importance of both. And it’s hard to maintain. It’s hard to do, especially when you`re doing a show like that.” O`Donnell was dubbed `The Queen of Nice` during her talk show’s reign, which ended in 2002 after six years on the air. Meanwhile, DeGeneres has famously ended many episodes of her show by saying “be kind to one another,” a phrase many threw back in her face when allegations of a toxic workplace environment for her staffers surfaced last year.

In May, DeGeneres announced her talk show, ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, will end after its 19th season. Kelly Clarkson will be taking over DeGeneres’ time slot following ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ 19th and final season next year. The singer’s NBC series, ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’, will move into DeGeneres` time slot in 2022. ​

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