After 19 seasons and more than 4,000 guests later, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air its final episode on Thursday. A moment that promises to be rich in emotions (get your handkerchiefs ready), and that should create a great emptiness in many halls. A look back at a media phenomenon that has seen Hollywood’s elite pass by, with its ups and downs, and what we will remember. In four beats.
Posted at 7:00 am
the good moves
Where to start? In nearly 20 years, Ellen DeGeneres, with her clean pants and many jackets, not to mention her weird dance moves, has danced with Michelle Obama, cooked with Bradley Cooper and shopped for groceries with Oprah. She also fed Adele grass and sang Christmas songs with Britney. In short, the biggest stars of the United States parade, in always relaxed contexts. But that is not all. Injured, she directly presented her program from her hospital bed. And if many times we laugh a lot, we also cry from the heart, in this newspaper as generous as it is entertaining, and as a diversified plus, followed by more than 1 million viewers on NBC. Especially when she received, let’s remember, a survivor of the homophobic murders in Orlando. “Fascinates me! “, launches the humorist Marie-Lyne Joncas, who almost religiously follows each episode. “When I was young, my dream was to be her. I would like to be the Ellen DeGeneres of Quebec. The comedian and presenter highlights both the style, the “carefree”, the “relaxed” side and the generosity of Ellen DeGeneres, in whom she is openly inspired. “When I cheer, there’s a lot of her behind her…”
Elena through time
Le grand coup
Mais au-delà de tout cela, et pour plusieurs observateurs, le plus grand legs d’Ellen DeGeneres est ailleurs. Ou plutôt avant. C’est son existence même qu’on retient. Ou plutôt son existence publique. « C’est le premier modèle lesbien grand public en Amérique du Nord ! », rappelle la chroniqueuse culturelle Eugénie Lépine-Blondeau, qui a carrément adressé une lettre d’amour à Ellen DeGeneres il y a quelques années sur les ondes de l’émission On dira ce qu’on voudra, à ICI Première. Son coming out « crucial » annoncé en une du Time Magazine en 1997 (« Yep, I’m gay », une sortie du placard inédite qui lui a valu son lot d’insultes, en plus de lui faire perdre peu de temps après sa sitcom, Ellen) – un « coup énorme » – a eu un effet « incommensurable » au sein de la communauté LGBTQ+, dit-elle. « Moi, quand j’ai compris l’existence d’Ellen DeGeneres, à l’adolescence […]I remember feeling relieved that she exists, that she shows up, and that she’s not afraid to talk about it. […] And the reason I swore never to hide as a lesbian woman is because of her. Sure. There are other models that inspire me. […] But in terms of my identity, the number one role model was Ellen. “For good reason:” For almost 20 years, she has brought together people from all walks of life with this catchphrase: be nice. She always had this intention of inclusion, this openness, and for me it is exceptional. »
D’ailleurs, quand le président Barack Obama lui a décerné la médaille de la Liberté en 2016, Eugénie Lépine-Blondeau en a pleuré. « Je braillais ma vie, vraiment. Il a rappelé tout son parcours, et c’était vraiment émouvant. » Même son de cloche de la part de la journaliste et chroniqueuse Judith Lussier, pour qui Ellen DeGeneres est un « modèle extraordinaire qui a beaucoup fait avancer les droits LGBTQ+ ». « Elle est entrée dans le foyer des gens et ç’a été exceptionnel. […] Seeing a lesbian woman express herself like this in the media gave me confidence to be myself and celebrate who I am. »
Exit in a climate of controversy
However, Ellen DeGeneres does not have a flawless career. Or let’s say that her sympathy capital has “eroded” noticeably in recent years. And all the interviewed observers noticed it. We remember that in 2020, her show lost more than 1 million viewers in six months, after the complaints, reported by Buzzfeed, of 36 former employees about the “toxic climate”, harassment, racism and microaggressions in their plate. The investigation, conducted by Warner Media, also resulted in the firing of three executive producers. That’s called falling in love with an apostle of so-called goodness. “It’s always a little disappointing when someone we love lets us down, especially when she’s someone who stands up for minorities, and who is herself,” says Sandrine Galand, pop culture expert and author of popular feminism, for whom the scandal echoes the Pascale Nadeau case here.
But for the researcher, this story, to which “another scandal” is added, namely this famous “friendship” between Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush (another blow to her popularity), actually reveals something else, which is especially “intersectionality”. ”:“ Elle DeGeneres is not just a lesbian woman, she concludes. She is mostly white, famous and rich. She is above all a rich “identity”, so to speak, rather than a queer “identity”. » Identité qui serait, selon elle (and without minimizing the “enormous” impact that is behind the LGBTQ+ community), at the origin of their success, and longevity, behind the frange plus “tradition” American. Besides, she’s not too worried about her future. “She’ll get over it!” »
“When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social networks did not exist. Gay marriage was not legal. We have seen how the world changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes not, ”the 64-year-old presenter recently wrote on her Twitter account, one of the most popular (and rich!) comedians on the planet (in the 10 most followed in the world, ahead of Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez and CNN), as a thank you to their (more or less) loyal viewers. “My goal has always been to make a show where we could all get together and laugh for an hour. Inviting me into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life and has brought me incredible joy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Over the last few days and in this final set, which has been the subject of much speculation, we expect to see the show’s first (2003) guests (a bit like David Letterman, another TV icon, in his own finale in 2015). ), namely Jennifer Aniston and P!nk (to whom we owe the credits music), plus the usual accomplices. We think of Oprah Winfrey, Kate McKinnon, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron, Billie Eilish, Bruno Mars and many others. Not to mention all the surprises, as funny as they are moving, the business card of the show whose slogan is be nice (Be gentle!). A show that has won so many Emmys that we have stopped counting, even if it has lost feathers in the last two years.
The last episode will air this Thursday on CTV at 4 p.m.
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