Comedian Kevin Hart is speaking his truth and sticking up for his friends — especially Ellen DeGeneres, who has been in hot water lately ever since allegations about her talk show have come to light. 

“Well, I don’t lose sight of the definition of friendship, and in our business, it’s one thing that people don’t really hold on to,” the 41-year-old told Deadline while promoting his new Netflix series, Kevin Hart: Don’t F** This Up. “There’s a lot of relationships that are fake, and there’s some that are real. In my case, the ones that are real are the ones that I’m always going to be adamant about speaking on behalf of. I know the people that both of them are, and knowing the people, all I can say is my experiences with those people.”

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Hart — who was supposed to be the host of the Academy Awards in 2019 but had to step down after his homophobic tweets resurfaced on Twitter — understands what it’s like when people no longer want to work with you. “In times like this, I know also how dark it gets,” he revealed. “I know how lonely it gets, because I know that these are times when people just turn their back on you. So for the ones that you love, that are close to your heart, you just want them to have some support, when it seems that there is none out there, and that’s just who I am as a person.”

Meanwhile, Hart continued to talk about his friendship with DeGeneres, 62, and Nick Cannon — who came under fire after he said some anti-Semitic comments on his podcast, Cannon’s Class in July 2020. As a result, Cannon was fired by Viacom CBS, which is where his show Wild ‘N Out aired. “That goes for anybody, across the board, that I consider a friend, and that’s not a big group of people,” Hart explained. 

“Everybody doesn’t get that conversation and that feeling from me, but the ones that do, I’m serious about it,” he continued. “I’m true to it, and it doesn’t mean that you have to speak on behalf of the problem. It doesn’t mean that you have to disregard the things that others are saying. It means that I can just speak on my relationship with my friends.”

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“When it comes to Nick, and it comes to Ellen, I know who they are, and I know who they’ve been for the years that I’ve been around them,” he stated. “I can only speak to that. Those are two of the most amazing people that I know.”

In July 2020, BuzzFeed News spoke with former staffers from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, who claimed the set was “toxic” and the “‘be kind’ bulls–t only happens when the cameras are on.”

In response, DeGeneres sent a memo to her staff where she addressed the allegations and issued an apology.

“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,” she wrote.

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The Night School star also got candid about his own Twitter fiasco. “I don’t want to be in a world where we forget how to forgive, where we forget how to be people,” he said, referring to the 2018 incident. “I want to understand the place of feeling, and emotion and love, and that comes from a place of forgiveness.”

As OK! previously reported, Hart was spotted over the weekend swapping crisis strategies with long-time friend DeGeneres at Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California.

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