Ellen DeGeneres‘ legion of celeb pals are beginning to speak up in defense of the embattled talk show host.
Just hours after singer Katy Perry heralded the Emmy winner as a beacon of “light” in the “fight for equality,” Kevin Hart affirmed his support for DeGeneres amid allegations that she has long fostered a toxic workplace on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“It’s crazy to see my friend go thru what she’s going thru publicly,” Hart shared on Instagram. “I have known Ellen for years and I can honestly say that she’s one of the dopest people on the f–king planet. She has treated my family and my team with love and respect from Day 1.
“The internet has become a crazy world of negativity,” Hart continued. “We are falling in love with people’s downfall. It’s honestly sad… This hate s–t has to stop. Hopefully it goes out of style soon… This post is not meant to disregard the feelings of others and their experiences. It’s simply to show what my experiences have been with my friend. Love you for life Ellen.”
It was nearly two years ago that DeGeneres emerged as one of Hart’s most ardent defenders when the actor/comedian was dropped as host of the Oscars due to past homophobic comments.
The allegations from current and former Ellen employees, detailed in multiple Buzzfeed reports — including one that dropped on Thursday — range from racist comments from senior producers, to staffers being fired for taking time off to attend family funerals, to rampant sexual misconduct and harassment in the workplace. DeGeneres wasn’t directly implicated in the accusations, but as one former employee put it: “If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on.”
Brad Garrett was among the celebs holding DeGeneres responsible for the strife, tweeting at DeGeneres, “Sorry but it comes from the top. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.” Actress Lea Thompson later backed up Garrett’s claims, maintaining on Twitter, “True Story. It is.”
For her part, DeGeneres vowed to improve the workplace culture at Ellen in a letter to her crew last week. Implying that other executives on the show had failed to uphold her standards of conduct, she vowed: “That will now change, and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”