Kevin Hart Defends Ellen DeGeneres Amid Talk Show Allegations
By Jennifer Drysdale
Kevin Hart is returning the favor. The comedian took to Instagram on Tuesday to express support for Ellen DeGeneres amid current and former Ellen DeGeneres Show employees' allegations about a "toxic" work environment.
"It’s crazy to see my friend go thru what she’s going thru publicly," Hart began his post. "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....we are falling in love with peoples down fall. It’s honestly sad...When did we get here?" he asked. "I stand by the ones that I know and that I love. Looking forward to the future where we get back to loving one another....this hate sh*t has to stop. Hopefully it goes out of style soon."
Hart concluded, "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."
Hart later reacted to the backlash for supporting DeGeneres in a video message posted Tuesday afternoon. "I'm a friend. As a friend, if I have a friend in trouble ever, I'm going to do my best to try to be there for that friend," he said.
Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin weighed in as well, tweeting from the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation account. "In the entertainment business, sometimes people can go too far in pursuit of a creative or commercial goal. Or people who work for you may do so. Having stated that, @TheEllenShow has always been kind to me. So...there’s that."
DeGeneres notably had Hart's back after he stepped down as host of the Oscars last year, following controversial tweets which resurfaced from nearly a decade prior. DeGeneres invited Hart on her show to explain his decision and offered him her support, sharing that she'd asked the Academy to take him back as host. The talk show host then found herself in the hot seat, receiving backlash from fans for her defense of Hart.
Late last month, Warner Bros. Television sent an internal memo informing staffers that WarnerMedia would be seeking the services of an independent third-party firm, which will interview current and former employees about their experiences behind the scenes on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, after one current and 10 former employees anonymously spoke with BuzzFeed News about their negative experiences on the show.
In an internal letter sent to show staff, obtained by ET last Thursday, DeGeneres apologized and affirmed that she was committed to "having conversations about fairness and justice."
In a statement to ET, Warner Bros. offered more information on the internal investigation, saying that they, and DeGeneres, "take the recent allegations around the show's workplace culture very seriously."
"Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to ensuring a workplace based on respect and inclusion," the statement read in part. We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show."
DeGeneres' wife, Portia de Rossi, has since taken to Instagram to ask fans and friends to "stand by Ellen." Jerry O'Connell and Katy Perry have also expressed their support.