Viewers criticized Ellen DeGeneres for mocking Sofia Vergara on her English speaking skills in a recently resurfaced interview

By Georgia Slater
August 22, 2020 11:45 AM
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Sofia Vergara is standing by Ellen DeGeneres, assuring viewers that she never felt offended by the talk show host.

On Friday, the Modern Family star, 48, spoke out on Twitter about a recently resurfaced video of DeGeneres teasing Vergara for her English-speaking skills during a 2015 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

In the clip, DeGeneres and Vergara look back at a CoverGirl commercial they filmed together.

"They give her the hardest lines too because we have to describe what's in the CoverGirl makeup and she has such a hard time pronouncing any of the ingredients," DeGeneres, 62, joked.

While many viewers criticized DeGeneres for mocking Vergara's pronunciation, the America's Got Talent judge explained that the two were simply "having fun."

"Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain. I was never a victim guys, I was always in on the joke," Vergara shared.

Vergara isn't the only star in recent weeks to defend DeGeneres as she faces allegations of fostering a "toxic" work environment.

Earlier this week, Kevin Hart spoke about supporting both DeGeneres and Nick Cannon as they each faced scandals.

"I don’t lose sight of the definition of friendship, and in our business, it’s one thing that people don’t really hold on to. There’s a lot of relationships that are fake, and there’s some that are real," he explained. "In my case, the ones that are real are the ones that I’m always going to be adamant about speaking on behalf of."

"I know the people that both of them are, and knowing the people, all I can say is my experiences with those people," Hart said of DeGeneres and Cannon. "That’s not to take away from what other people are saying that they have had and that they have done. It’s just to highlight what I’m saying I know, and what I can speak on behalf of."

In mid-July, BuzzFeed News published a report in which previous employees alleged there is a "toxic work environment" behind the scenes of the daytime talk show.

Days after news broke that the show would undergo an internal investigation by WarnerMedia, DeGeneres sent a lengthy memo to staff, in which she said she is "glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention" and that they are "taking steps ... to correct" them.

Ellen DeGeneres
| Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

"On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect," she began. "Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show."

DeGeneres added that she accepted responsibility and was "committed to ensuring this does not happen again."

Earlier this week, she further apologized to staff in a second apology, which came amid the exit of three of the show's top producers: Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman. The trio parted ways with the show following the internal investigation by WarnerMedia, a Warner Bros. spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE.

In an emotional video conference with staff on Monday, DeGeneres told staff she "wasn't perfect," a source, who was on the call, told PEOPLE.

"I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes,” she said.

“I’m hearing that some people felt that I wasn’t kind or too short with them, or too impatient. I apologize to anybody if I’ve hurt your feelings in any way," DeGeneres said.