Kevin Hart Explains Why He's Standing up for Ellen DeGeneres Amid Controversy

Kevin Hart is opening up about his decision to defend Ellen DeGeneres. Just days after voicing his support for the longtime TV host amid her workplace investigation and after being spotted out together in Montecito, California, Hart got candid about why he is choosing to remain by his friend's side.

Speaking with Deadline about his own past controversies, including his past homophobic tweets, Hart cited friendship and the difficulty of maintaining friendships in Hollywood as the principal cause for his support. He told the outlet that he doesn't "lose sight of the definition of friendship, and in our business, it's one thing that people don't really hold on to," explaining that "there's a lot of relationships that are fake, and there's some that are real." Hart said that from his own experience, "the ones that are real are the ones that I'm always going to be adamant about speaking on behalf of." While Hart said that he can only speak out based on his own "experiences with those people," he explained, "that's not to take away from what other people are saying that they have had, and that they have done."

"In times like this, I know also how dark it gets. I know how lonely it gets because I know that these are times when people just turn their back on you," he continued. "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."

Hart said that this sentiment "goes for anybody…that I consider a friend." He said that not everybody gets "that conversation and that feeling from me," though the ones that do, he's "serious about it." Hart said that this "doesn't mean that you have to speak on behalf of the problem" or that "you have to disregard the things that others are saying," but rather, "it means that I can just speak on my relationship with my friends."


Directly addressing his defense of DeGeneres, as well as that of Nick Cannon, who found himself in the midst of controversy after he made anti-Semitic comments, Hart said that he knows "who they are" and "who've they've been for the years that I've been around them." He said that he can "only speak to that."

DeGeneres, a comedian and longtime TV host, has found herself in the midst of controversy after several current and former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show came forward with allegations of a "toxic" workplace environment. Those accusations prompted an investigation and the firing of three top producers.