It’s a familiar scenario: A person is accused of doing a bad thing (or many bad things), and then their friends butt in and say, “WELL they’ve never done the bad thing to me SO...,” followed by a shrugging gesture to indicate they’ve made an unassailable point. The faulty logic being that the accused has always been nice and good to their friends, hence they could not possibly be monstrous to/around someone else. We’ve reached this very phase in the ongoing controversy surrounding Ellen DeGeneres and her long-running daytime talk show, which was the subject of two recent BuzzFeed News reports in which numerous former employees described a toxic workplace environment created by senior staff members and detailed allegations of sexual misconduct among producers. Although DeGeneres herself was not directly accused of improper or abusive conduct, it’s been something of an open secret among those in the industry—particularly comedians—that the TV host is nothing like her “nice” persona. But a handful of DeGeneres’ famous friends are coming to her defense, and oh, look, even Diane Keaton is here!
Keaton, who’s something of a pro when it comes to backing problematic friends, voiced her support in an Instagram post that definitely doesn’t look like it was written at gunpoint:
In another Instagram post, Kevin Hart—no stranger to controversy himself—said DeGeneres is “one of the dopest people on the fucking planet”:
Actress Portia de Rossi, who has been married to DeGeneres since 2008, thanked fans for their support in a post that was suspiciously absent of the requisite hashtags for sponsored content. Katy Perry and Ashton Kutcher held down the fort on Twitter, where they both acknowledged that they could only speak for themselves and their respective interactions with DeGeneres:
Setting aside the fact that OF COURSE ELLEN WAS NICE TO YOU, YOU’RE FAMOUS AND WEALTHY—it’s pretty cute how Kutcher praises DeGeneres and her show, which “never pandered to celebrity,” implying that Ashton Kutcher is a “celebrity.”
Meanwhile, former Ellen Show DJ Tony Okungbowa sided with former employees in saying he also felt “the toxicity of the environment.”
DeGeneres issued a public apology last week and said her show is working with Warner Bros. to conduct an internal investigation into the allegations. In a statement issued last Thursday and obtained by People, Warner Bros. said it had interviewed “dozens of current and former employees” and were “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”