Ellen DeGeneres' brother, Vance DeGeneres, has come to her defense amid the ongoing investigation surrounding the allegedly "toxic" workplace at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, calling her a "bright light in a dark world" in emotional social media posts. After current and former employees spoke with BuzzFeed News about their negative experiences with harassment and intimidation behind the scenes of the daytime talk show, Vance took up for his sister on Twitter.
"If you think Ellen would knowingly allow bullying or racism on her show, you don't know my sister," Vance wrote on Tuesday. "She has been and continues to be a bright light in a dark world. She's one of the kindest, most generous people you'll ever meet. And one of the funniest." On Facebook, the musician said that his younger sister is being "viciously attacked," calling the allegations about her role in the controversy "all bulls—."
"Ok, I need to say something. My sister is being viciously attacked. And let me assure you - it is all bulls—," he wrote. "I put up a simple statement yesterday that said, 'I stand by Ellen.' Only a handful of my Facebook' friends' responded to it. If you don't support Ellen, then you don't support me, so please unfriend me." He continued that he was "sick and tired" of people attacking his sister, who "always has - and always will — stand against bullying" of any kind.
"She's a smart, strong woman who has made a positive difference in the world," Vance concluded. "And to my friends who did respond with support for Ellen and my family, thank you so much. It means a lot." Ellen's wife, Portia de Rossi, has also stepped in to defend the comedian during the investigation, as well as Katy Perry and Kevin Hart. Ellen herself apologized to her staff in a memo sent out late last month.
"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. "Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show."
"My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that," she wrote, adding that as the show has gotten bigger, she "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." Ellen wrote that "clearly some didn't," and promised that these things "will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."