Ellen DeGeneres' Toxic Workplace Allegations Were 'Last Straw' for Her Leaving Talk Show: Source

Ellen DeGeneres announced last week that her eponymous talk show will end after season 19 next year

Ellen DeGeneres' recent announcement that her talk show will end after its 19th season came after a turbulent year for the star, as she faced allegations of creating a toxic workplace environment for her staffers.

"As great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore," the TV personality told The Hollywood Reporter while making the announcement on May 12, noting that she had planned for the last two years to walk away in 2022.

A week later, a show source tells PEOPLE that DeGeneres, 63, is "confident" in her decision.

"It's sad that the show ends like this, but Ellen seems confident that she made the right decision," the insider says in this week's issue.

The source adds, "After the toxic workplace allegations, the question was more when will [the show] end and not if it will end."

For more on Ellen DeGeneres, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

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Ellen DeGeneres. Gregg DeGuire/Getty

The allegations became public in July, when BuzzFeed News published a report in which current and former staffers spoke anonymously about their experiences on set, which included claims of being penalized for taking medical leave, instances of racial microaggressions and fear of retribution for raising complaints.

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DeGeneres discussed the controversy, which prompted an internal investigation last summer, in her THR interview, saying it "almost impacted the show."

"It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn't have come back this season," she said, adding that the situation "destroyed me, honestly. I'd be lying if I said it didn't."

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Ellen DeGeneres. getty

As for who will take her place as the reigning queen of uplifting daytime TV?

"Kelly Clarkson is a logical choice," says an industry source of the singer, who hosts her own titular talk show on NBC.

The source adds that DeGeneres' exit was not a surprise: "She was almost out the door before the controversy. She's been talking about leaving for a few years now, but that was definitely the last straw."

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