Following allegations of a toxic work culture and sexual misconduct from producers, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and its titular host have been at the center of controversy. The allegations were not directly aimed at DeGeneres herself, but a number of celebrities have come forward to corroborate the “mean Ellen” allegations. There have been, however, a celebrities that have defended the comedian and host in the midst of the situation. The latest to do so is Sofia Vergara, who spoke out after an interview, which included some controversial jokes, resurfaced online.
The interview in question took place in 2015, during which Sofia Vergara and Ellen DeGeneres discussed the CoverGirl makeup commercial they had recently filmed. After Vergara joked about DeGeneres’ presence at the shoot, the host joked that she’s always given the hardest lines because Vergara has trouble pronouncing the ingredients when describing the product. Vergara then quipped that because DeGeneres is much famous and older than she is, she gets priority and gets to read the scripts first, which is why she gets the lines.
When the interview resurfaced, many took issue with DeGeneres’ comments but, in a recent Twitter post, Vergara refuted negative connotations of the exchange. The actress stated that she “was never a victim” and was “always in on the joke”:
Ellen DeGeneres has had a number of high-profile defenders since the initial allegations began to surface. Kevin Hart has been a particularly strong advocate of DeGeneres, with the actor having defended her on multiple occasions. Others like Katy Perry, Ashton Kutcher and Jay Leno have also spoken in support of DeGeneres. In addition, family members like her brother and her spouse, Portia De Rossi, have also been vocal.
Others have been a bit more mixed when speaking on their experiences working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Former DJ Tony Okungbowa recently shared that he appreciated the opportunity to work on the show but admitted that he could “feel the toxicity of the environment.”
DeGeneres has since apologized to staff members, promising to change things for the better moving forward. Warner Bros. Television launched a third-party investigation into the show. Sometime after, the show let go of three of its top producers. DeGeneres has also increased the benefits offered to staff members.
The controversy has led a number of people to ask that Ellen DeGeneres be replaced as the host of the show. As of right now, WarnerMedia officials have made it clear that the host has the company’s support, and it would appear that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will not be going off the air due to the controversy. Ellen was being shot remotely when the allegations began, and it’s currently unclear as to when the show will return to the studio to restart production.
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