"We are falling in love with peoples downfall," he wrote in defense of DeGeneres.

By James Hibberd
August 04, 2020 at 02:10 PM EDT
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Kevin Hart posted an impassioned defense of Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday, blasting her critics in a strongly worded Instagram post.

With the daytime talk show host under fire and accused of creating — or at least enabling — a toxic workplace environment, the actor and comedian wrote: "It’s crazy to see my friend go thru what she’s going thru publicly. I have known Ellen for years and I can honestly say that she’s one of the dopest people on the f---ing planet. She has treated my family and my team with love and respect from day 1."

People's Choice Awards 2017 - Roaming Show
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Continued Hart: "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--- has to stop. Hopefully, it goes out of style soon....This post is not meant to disregard the feelings of others and their experiences....It’s simply to show what my experiences have been with my friend. Love you for life Ellen."

Hart might be partly referring to his own experiences with being the subject of online controversy. The comedian was announced as the host of the 2018 Oscars, but the gig soon fell apart after his previous homophobic jokes received renewed scrutiny and criticism.

Hart has been on The Ellen DeGeneres Show 14 times over the years, including doing a guest spot in May.

Earlier Tuesday, singer Katy Perry likewise defended DeGeneres, writing on Twitter early Tuesday morning: "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 & on the @theellenshow. 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." 

DeGeneres has been in the center of a firestorm of controversy over allegations of fostering a "toxic" and "abusive" work environment on her nationally syndicated program, including allegations that her producers have committed sexual misconduct. WarnerMedia is conducting an internal investigation of the matter. The host issued a statement last week that accepted overall responsibility for her workplace, yet also portrayed herself as largely unaware of such problems and not directly participating in any bullying behavior, contrary to some reports.

"As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done," she wrote. "Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again." The host added she was "glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention" and that they are "taking steps ... to correct them."

The statement prompted Everybody Loves Raymond actor-comedian Brad Garrett to respond by slamming DeGeneres in a viral tweet last week, "Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge." Back to the Future actress Lea Thompson simply replied, "True story."

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