Ashton Kutcher, Diane Keaton and More Speak Out in Support of Ellen DeGeneres amid Controversy
Several of Ellen DeGeneres' famous friends are standing by her side.
Last week, the talk show host, 62, issued an apology to her staff, acknowledging an alleged "toxic" work environment and promising that she is "committed to ensuring this does not happen again." The accusations against her daytime show's producers were outlined in BuzzFeed News reports and as her talk show undergoes an internal investigation by WarnerMedia, several A-list stars are showing their support for DeGeneres on social media.
"I ALWAYS ENJOYED MY VISITS TO THE ELLEN SHOW," Diane Keaton wrote on Instagram Tuesday, sharing a photo of herself laughing alongside DeGeneres while appearing on her show. "I’VE SEEN HOW THE AUDIENCE EXUDES HAPPINESS AND GRATITUDE. SHE GIVES BACK TO SO MANY INCLUDING ME. @theellenshow."
"I haven’t spoken with @TheEllenShow and can only speak from my own experience. She & her team have only treated me & my team w/ respect & kindness," Ashton Kutcher also shared on Tuesday via Twitter. "She never pandered to celebrity which I always saw as a refreshing honesty. When things aren’t right she handles it and fixes."
Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria Baldwin then expressed their support for the comedian, tweeting: "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."
Longtime television host Jay Leno soon joined in, saying he'll remain loyal to DeGeneres, and highlighted her philanthropic endeavors. "I don’t discard a 40-year friendship on hearsay," he wrote on Twitter. "The Ellen I know has raised over $125 million dollars for charity and has always been a kind and decent person. I fully support her. Jay Leno."
"I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow," the singer wrote. "I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought to the world through her platform for decades."
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DeGeneres' wife, Portia de Rossi, showed her support for DeGeneres on Instagram Monday. "To all our fans....we see you. Thank you for your support," de Rossi, 47, captioned her post, adding the hashtags "#stopbotattacks," "#IStandWithEllenDeGeneres," "#IStandByEllen," "#IstandByEllenDeGeneres" and "#bekindtooneanother," the phrase with which DeGeneres closes out her show each day.
In mid-July, BuzzFeed News published a report in which previous employees alleged a "toxic work environment" behind the scenes of the daytime talk show. One current and 10 former staffers spoke anonymously about their experiences on set, including claims of being penalized for taking medical leave, instances of racial microaggressions and fear of retribution for raising complaints.
On Thursday, DeGeneres penned a lengthy memo to her employees in which she addressed the alleged workplace toxicity.
"My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that," she wrote. "Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't. That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."
She promised to do her "part" in pushing herself and others "to learn and grow."
"We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I'm glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention," she said. "I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It's important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so."
PEOPLE has confirmed that the comedian will return to host the talk show when it's expected to come back to TV on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
Warner Bros. said in a statement last Thursday that "dozens of current and former employees" had been interviewed, and that they were "disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show's day-to-day management."
Moving forward, Warner Bros. said they have "identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them."
"Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to ensuring a workplace based on respect and inclusion. We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show," the statement concluded.