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‘I stand by Ellen’: DeGeneres’s wife supports star following toxic workplace reports

Written by on 04/08/2020

Ellen DeGeneres’s wife Portia de Rossi has spoken out in support of the TV star, posting on Instagram to say “I stand by Ellen” following allegations of a toxic workplace environment on the set of her show.

Last week, DeGeneres issued an apology in a memo to workers, while distributor Warner Bros said it would make staffing changes after an internal investigation found “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management”.

Amid calls for the 62-year-old presenter to step down, De Rossi, 47, has now shared a message of support for her wife of 12 years. Since the post, singer Katy Perry has also spoken out in support of DeGeneres.

Next to a graphic which read “I stand by Ellen” on Instagram, the actress wrote in the caption: “To all our fans….we see you. Thank you for your support.”

The couple got married in 2008, after California overturned a ban on same-sex marriage.

Known for her “be kind” mantra, often taking part in lavish giveaways or acts of charity, DeGeneres is one of the biggest names on US TV and has hosted the Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2003.

However, her image has been rocked by recent allegations. A Buzzfeed News investigation made a series of claims about the alleged toxic culture on the daytime talk show after speaking to former employees who made allegations of racism, unfair dismissal, intimidation and an overall toxic environment.

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DeGeneres apologised in a memo to staff obtained by the Press Association news agency, saying: “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.

“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.”

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DeGeneres said she was “committed to ensuring this does not happen again”.

The star also referenced her experiences of coming out as gay in 1997 amid huge media interest.

“As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded,” she said. “To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”

She finished the note by saying she is “so proud” of the show and apologised again to staff, saying that if not for the coronavirus crisis she would have “done this in person”.

Warner Bros said: “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.”

In posts supporting DeGeneres on Twitter, Perry said she had only ever had “positive takeaways” from her time on the show and sent the presenter “love” and “a hug”.

 Sky News

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