During an interview with PEOPLE (the TV Show!), which aired on Thursday, September 17, Harvey talked about the 62-year-old’s character and advice he would give to the comedian amid the scandal. “I’m going to say this about it: Ellen DeGeneres, the person that I know, that I’ve known for a number of years, that I saw back in the comedy club days, when we used to split time with the same management, all of this and what’s happening now, Ellen, the person, is probably one of the coolest and kindest people I’ve met in this business,” the Family Feud host said.
Harvey, 63, also stated that in Hollywood “people want to take something and make something out of everything.”
He continued, “[Ellen] has no control over what every staff member does, what every producer does, you can’t control that. You don’t even know some of the stuff that’s happening. [Since] it’s her name that’s on the show she got to take the hit. Something happens over here, I got to take the hit.”
In July, BuzzFeed News published a report in which current and former employees opened up about their experience on the Ellen set, where they detailed allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, intimidation, racism and much more. WarnerMedia immediately took action and conducted an internal investigation, which concluded in firing three senior executive producers: Ed Gavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman.
Having known the Finding Dory star for years, Harvey said he believes DeGeneres has good intentions. “I know racism. If I have a conversation with you, I know if you got racist tendency somewhere in you, because it radiates,” he explained. “I can feel it. I’ve been around a long time, man. That’s not Ellen DeGeneres. That’s just not her, period. You make it like that if you want to. But if you try to make it that way, it’s because you don’t know her. I know her. And that’s the feeling I have.”
Harvey said he has been in touch with DeGeneres since the scandal broke, and he’s tried to lift her spirits during this tough time. “I’ve told her, keep your head up. We’ve texted each other. But my first advice was Ellen got enough money to walk away,” he said. “But, we’re in the cancel culture right now, man, everybody want to see everybody fall down, man. What happened, man?”
“People used to cheer for people,” he added. “Now, it’s so important to ruin everybody’s career. Get rid of somebody. You know, that’s not how it works, but, it is what it is, man. But I think Ellen’s going to be absolutely fine myself. I really do.”
In response, to the toxic workplace allegations, DeGeneres sent a memo to her staff, acknowledging the ongoing controversy and apologized for her actions. “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.
After old videos resurfaced of the talk show host humiliating her staffers, she held an emotional video conference, where she admitted she’s not perfect. “I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes,” she explained. “I’m hearing that some people felt that I wasn’t kind or too short with them, or too impatient. I apologize to anybody if I’ve hurt your feelings in any way.”
Along with an apology, the writer tried to compensate her staffers by offering more benefits, which included increased paid time off.
After more controversial allegations came out of DeGeneres being rude to household staffers, she announced her show’s return on September 21. DeGeneres promised to “talk about” what’s been happening in her life.
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