UPDATED: Former Ellen resident DJ Tony Okungbowa, who worked on the show from 2003-2006 and from 2007-2013, on Tuesday supported accounts by other former staffers alleging a toxic work environment on the daytime talk show.
“While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward,” he wrote on Instagram.
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Also on Tuesday, former Daily Show correspondent Vance DeGeneres called the allegations against his sister’s Emmy-winning show “all bullsh*t.”
“If you don’t support Ellen, then you don’t support me,” Vance DeGeneres wrote in a Facebook page. He encouraged those who feel differently about his sister and the developing situation to unfriend him on the social networking app. “I’m sick and tired of my sister being attacked.”
In July, Buzzfeed published a story in which former Ellen employees recalled their experiences behind the scenes. The Ellen employees shared that they faced bullying, intimidation and racially-charged microaggressions from bosses. Since the story dropped, Warner Bros. launched an internal investigation regarding the accusations.
Vance DeGeneres’ Facebook post comes after Kevin Hart and Portia de Rossi also backed the daytime host. On Tuesday, Kevin Hart shared a photo of him and Ellen laughing on the Finding Dory star’s show. In his caption, Hart called the host ” one of the dopest people on the fucking planet.” The Die Hart star expressed his dismay at how the internet has reacted new of the show’s toxic environment.
“The internet has become a crazy world of negativity….we are falling in love with peoples down fall. It’s honestly sad…When did we get here?,” Hart asked on Instagram. “Hopefully it goes out of style soon.”
When Hart was dropped as host for the 91st annual Oscar awards after homophobic tweets resurfaced back in January 2019, Ellen voiced support for the comedian, urging the Academy to re-hire him as host.
On Monday former Ellen DJ Tony Okungbowa shared his experiences on the morning show in an Instagram post. Okungbowa, who was on the show form 2003-2016 and 2007-2013, said that while he was grateful for the opportunity to work on the award-winning show, he supports the former colleagues who spoke about the show’s issues.
“While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a health and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward.”
Portia de Rossi, Ellen DeGeneres’ wife, also broke her silence. The Arrested Development actress posted on Instagram a photo that read “I Stand By Ellen” in front of the show’s signature light blue.
“To all our fans…we see you. Thank you for your support,” de Rossi captioned the Monday post, which was hash-tagged #IStandByEllen.
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