Steve Harvey is coming to the defense of fellow television host Ellen DeGeneres after allegations of a toxic atmosphere on the set of her show.
In an interview this week, Harvey said that he has known DeGeneres for a long time — going back to their days coming up together in the world of stand-up comedy — and saw nothing but good from her.
“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,” Harvey said in an interview with People.
DeGeneres has come under fire after several employees who worked on the set of The Ellen DeGeneres Show came forward to describe what they saw as a toxic workplace. Harvey said that these problems should not fall on her shoulders, saying that she has no control over what every staff member does and that producers should be in better control.
But he added that because it’s “her name on the show,” DeGeneres has to “take the hit” for what’s happened.
“Something happens over here, I got to take the hit,” Harvey said of his own program.
Harvey went on to say that he had been in touch with her since the scandal broke, speaking via text and advising his friend to keep her head up as she moves forward. He told the magazine that he’s confident she will be able to make a positive comeback from the scandal.
DeGeneres did take responsibility for the situation, saying as much in a letter sent to crew members earlier this summer. In the letter, which was published by The Hollywood Reporter, the comedian and television host said she had compassion for those who felt they faced oppression while working on the program that bears her name.
The letter added that she would take whatever steps necessary to correct the issues, and that Warner Bros. would be conducting an internal investigation of exactly what happened.
Harvey is not the only famous friend to come to her defense. Former daytime host Rosie O’Donnell also said that she had compassion for DeGeneres, noting that “you can’t fake your essence” and that she knows DeGeneres to be kind.