Ellen DeGeneres' big brother has her back.
As stars either issue their public support or criticize the daytime host amid allegations of a toxic work environment behind the scenes at her long-running show, the comedian's older brother, Vance DeGeneres, has made it publicly clear where he stands.
"If you think Ellen would knowingly allow bullying or racism on her show, you don't know my sister," the movie producer tweeted on Tues., Aug. 4. "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, Vance did not mince words as he denounced the criticism against his famous sibling, writing, "Ok, I need to say something. My sister is being viciously attacked. And let me assure you—it is all bulls--t."
Vance further aligned himself with his sister, telling his Facebook connections, "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. I'm sick and tired of my sister being attacked. She 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. And to my friends who did respond with support for Ellen and my family, thank you so much. It means a lot."
Vance's voice joins a growing list of celebrities and anonymous accusers who have shared their alleged experiences with the show and DeGeneres, both good and bad.
Among the allegations has been the claim, according to BuzzFeed News, that employees were instructed by managers not to speak to the host if they saw her in the office.
A former employee told BuzzFeed News, "If [DeGeneres] wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what's going on...I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, 'Things are going great, everybody's happy,' and she just believes that, but it's her responsibility to go beyond that."
In a letter to staff, the famous host addressed the emerging complaints, writing in part, "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. 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."
The star also took ultimate ownership, stating, "My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that."
Following the recent public accusations regarding the show's workplace environment and culture, an internal investigation was conducted. Warner Bros. has since confirmed some "deficiencies" were found.
"Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres take the recent allegations around the show's workplace culture very seriously. We hoped to determine the validity and extent of publicly reported allegations and to understand the full breadth of the show's day-to-day culture," Warner Bros. began in a statement. "As a result, WarnerMedia interviewed dozens of current and former employees about the environment at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was important to both Warner Bros. and Ellen that as many people as possible attached to the program could be heard. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world."
"And though not all of the allegations were corroborated," the statement continued, "we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show's day-to-day management. We have identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them. Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to ensuring a workplace based on respect and inclusion. We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show."