America's Got Talent judge Sofia Vergara broke her silence on her Ellen DeGeneres Show appearances, which have resurfaced in recent weeks while the show is being investigated for an alleged toxic workplace. The Modern Family star frequently appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show as a guest, and DeGeneres made fun of Vergara's Colombian accent in one of those appearances. While fans have called out DeGeneres for being "racist," Vergara said she was "always in" on the jokes.
"Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain. I was never a victim guys, I was always in on the joke," Vergara tweeted on Friday, alongside a clip from a 2015 Ellen appearance she made. At the time, Vergara and DeGeneres were discussing a CoverGirl commercial they made together, and DeGeneres claimed Vergara had difficulty with the script because of her accent.
"They give her the hardest lines too because we have to describe what's in the CoverGirl makeup and she has such a hard time pronouncing any of the ingredients," DeGeneres joked in the segment. Vergara laughed off the comment, telling the host, "I think because you are much more famous than me and older than me so they give you priority and you read the script first and then you're the one that makes me say those words because there's no way. They make her look pretty and make me say the important information."
WarnerMedia, the parent company of Ellen producer Telepictures, launched an investigation into the show's senior producers after former staffers accused them of creating a "toxic" work environment in a BuzzFeed report. In another BuzzFeed report, staffers accused senior producers of sexual harassment and misconduct. After the investigation began, DeGeneres issued an apology to staff, vowing to make changes.
In the midst of the controversy, the show is preparing to come back for another season this fall. This week, it was reported that producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner gave employees new benefits, including five paid days off, paid time for doctors' appointments and family matters, and their birthdays off. Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, the three producers at the center of the worst allegations, were also fired.
On Monday, DeGeneres issued another memo to staff, apologizing for letting the show become a "well-oiled machine" when it is not a machine, "it's human beings." She later wrote, "I apologize for anyone who’s feelings I’ve hurt. I’m not perfect. I’m multi-layered and I learn from my mistakes. I care about each and every one of you. I’m grateful for each and every one of you."