Jay Leno And Other Celebrities Come To Ellen’s Defense Amid Allegations Of Coldness, Toxic Work Environment

“I don’t discard a 40-year friendship on hearsay.”

Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

As comedienne Ellen DeGeneres endured weeks of allegations about her coldness in private and a toxic work environment, celebrities were largely MIA in her defense. On Wednesday, as her talk show faces potential cancelation amid a severe drop in ratings, celebrities from Jay Leno to Katy Perry to Ashton Kutcher all testified that her private persona matches her public persona.

“I don’t discard a 40-year friendship on hearsay. 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,” former late-night host Jay Leno tweeted.

“I haven’t spoken with [Ellen] and can only speak from my own experience. She & her team have only treated me & my team w/ respect & kindness. She never pandered to celebrity which I always saw as a refreshing honesty. When things aren’t right she handles it and fixes,” tweeted Ashton Kutcher.

“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,” tweeted Katy Perry. “I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought to the world through her platform for decades. Sending you love & a hug, friend.”

Followers on Twitter did not exactly respond kindly to their praise of Ellen, arguing that they all experienced her best side because they are celebrities.

“As someone who does digital strategy, I can recognize a digital campaign when I see one. These fools received an ‘I Love Ellen’ toolkit via google drive full of tweets they could copy and paste and here we are…” tweeted one user.

“It’s so obvious Ellen is paying these celebrities cause why they all saying the same 3 things,” tweeted another.

Britt Hayes of the AV Club said the parade of defenses is just another example of “wealthy friends” looking out for one another:

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.

On Tuesday, Us Weekly reported that Ellen met with her staff to smooth things over regarding allegations about a toxic work environment. After rumors she had entered talks to potentially cancel her show, a source said that she intends to keep it going.

“The producers ultimately said you all still have a job here and you will all get paid, however that may be,” the source said. “They said Ellen is not giving up and the show will go on. … That woman brings so much joy to people that it would break a lot of hearts to stop doing this show. It was a pep talk and made some staffers feel better.”

Fox News reported, however, that Ellen’s show ratings hit a new series low on Tuesday.

“The show reportedly drew a 1.0 Live + Same Day household rating in the week ending on July 26, 2020. That marks a downturn by 9% from the prior week and a massive 29% from the same week in 2019,” reported the outlet. “The previous week saw a 27% drop, which just so happened to be the same week that Buzzfeed News released its report. However, it’s worth noting that ratings for syndicated daytime talk shows are down across the board as many opt to air summer reruns.”