Kevin Hart has joined Scooter Braun and Katy Perry in defending Ellen DeGeneres as she faces a growing backlash over the “toxic” working environment on her show.
The Ellen Show is currently under an internal investigation following reports of racism, fear and intimidation on set, while DeGeneres herself is plagued by rumours of “notoriously mean” behaviour towards her staff which seemingly contradict her famously sunny reputation.
A number of celebrities leapt to Ellen DeGeneres’ defence, including Kevin Hart, who told fans he’d never seen the star mistreating others and suggested the criticism was down to the internet’s “crazy negativity”.
“It’s crazy to see my friend go thru [sic] what she’s going thru [sic] publicly,” he wrote on Instagram. “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 one.
“The internet has become a crazy world of negativity… We are falling in love with people’s downfall. It’s honestly sad… When did we get here? 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 s**t has to stop. Hopefully it goes out of style soon…
“This post is not meant to disregard the feelings of others and their experiences,” he continued, “it’s simply to show what my experiences have been with my friend. Love you for life Ellen.”
Hart is likely remembering his own experiences as the subject of controversy. DeGeneres famously stood alongside him when he was widely condemned for a series of homophobic tweets he made between 2009 and 2012.
At the time a number of prominent LGBT+ figures and journalists slammed DeGeneres for dismissing Hart’s critics as “haters” and urging him to backtrack on his decision to quit as host of the Academy Awards.
Now Hart has been similarly condemned for backing the star, as he shared a video complaining of the “roar of frustration” he received in response to his supportive post.
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The singer Katy Perry also fielded criticism from fans when she declared she’d only ever had “positive takeaways” from her time with Ellen.
Many sought to remind Perry that she, a rich, white celebrity, would no doubt have a different experience of DeGeneres than the Black staffers who have levelled complaints against her.
“If I had to take a wild guess, I’d say there’s a huge difference between you, a celebrity guest on her show, and the underpaid employees whose complaints have everything to do with the fact that… they relied on Ellen to pay their bills,” wrote entertainment editor Michael Cuby. “But maybe I’m wrong!”
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