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“Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain,” Vergara, 48, tweeted on Friday. “I was never a victim guys, I was always in on the joke.”
A video montage circulated this week showing the host teasing the Colombian-American actress in various episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“So, I’ve been doing a Spanish word of the day,” DeGeneres said in 2017. “So I thought I would teach you an English word.” Then, in 2018, the 62-year-old, remarked, “You’ve been on this show for 10 years and your accent has gotten worse. How is that possible?” And in a 2015 clip, DeGeneres told Vergara, “Your English has gotten better, I have to say...I’m understanding you.”
On Friday, the America's Got Talent judge demonstrated the pair’s chemistry by tweeting a 2015 interview interview in which the two swapped lighthearted jabs about Vergara’s accent and DeGeneres’s age and fame.
Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain. I was never a victim guys, I was always in on the joke. https://t.co/mjUjPNRHlb
— Sofia Vergara (@SofiaVergara) August 21, 2020
It’s been a rough time for DeGeneres, whose 17-year television show came under fire after two July BuzzFeed reports alleged racism and sexual harassment, according to current and former employees who spoke anonymously. The first story contained accounts from a Black employee who said she experienced racist “microaggressions” such as comments about her hair. Employees also said they were ordered to not address DeGeneres in person and were fired for taking medical leave or attending funerals.
Related: Ellen Degeneres show under investigation after horror stories surface
Producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner told BuzzFeed, "...For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
The second report included multiple instances of sexual misconduct and harassment from Glavin and producers Jonathan Norman and Kevin Leman, who reportedly “parted ways” in August after a Warner Bros. studio investigation. Norman and Leman denied the BuzzFeed allegations while Glavin did not respond to BuzzFeed for comment.
On July 30, The Hollywood Reporter obtained a letter DeGeneres wrote to her staff, apologizing for any mistreatment. “Anyone who knows me knows it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show,” she wrote. DeGeneres also claimed that colleagues were “misrepresenting who I am” writing, “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. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.” In 1997, DeGeneres came out as gay on her namesake sitcom for which she suffered backlash.
Social media blamed DeGeneres for ignoring the alleged abuse and a March Twitter thread calling DeGeneres “notoriously one of the meanest people alive” didn’t help her image.
Celebrities Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry, Diane Keaton and Kevin Hart defended DeGeneres, along with Portia de Rossi, her wife of eight years. However, Everybody Loves Raymond’s Brad Garrett and Back to the Future’s Lea Thompson openly disagreed. And the show’s former and current DJs took opposing sides in the debate.
The talk show has reportedly resumed production and according to Variety, in a meeting this week, producers announced additional employee benefits like time-off and medical leave. An emotional DeGeneres apologized to staff for mistreatment “on her watch” and said the controversy left her “heartbroken.”
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