Katy Perry isn’t sorry she defended Ellen DeGeneres: ‘Not everyone is going to agree’

Katy Perry stands on the roof of Capitol Records.
Pop star Katy Perry’s fifth studio album arrives Aug. 28.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Pop star Katy Perry is doubling down on a controversial tweet defending comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who recently came under fire after employees of her daytime talk show reported a toxic work environment.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times’ Amy Kaufman, Perry addressed the tweet, which focused on the “positive takeaways” of her personal interactions with DeGeneres while acknowledging that she “can’t speak for anyone else’s experience.”

The “Smile” artist and other celebrities — including Kevin Hart, Diane Keaton and Ashton Kutcher — drew sharp criticism for publicly supporting DeGeneres while her series is under internal investigation.


“I started that tweet off not undermining anyone else’s experience,” Perry told The Times. “I wanted to only speak from my own experience. I have over 100 million people that follow me on Twitter, so not everyone is going to agree with me. And I’m not here to make everyone agree with me.”

In an internal memo to her staff last month, DeGeneres responded to the allegations, admitting she had “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.”

“Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”

Perry has also been vocal in recent months about her last album, “Witness,” which wasn’t received as warmly as some of her past work and had a negative impact on her mental health. During that time, the “Roar” hitmaker confided in fellow pop phenom Sia, who has also struggled with mental health while navigating the entertainment industry.

“She had a real breakdown,” Sia told The Times. “She’s on stage with 10 candied lollipops and clowns and dancers, selling the dream, the joy, the happiness — and that’s really hard sometimes when you’re not feeling it yourself.


“I knew she was driven and ambitious, that was clear from the beginning. But I didn’t realize that she was so reliant on that validation for her psychological well-being,” Sia added. “She did say ‘I feel lost.’ I think it was a big kick to her ego, but it was the best thing that could have ever happened to her, really, because now she can make music for the fun of it. Getting number ones does nothing for your inside.”

After fighting through what her friend Sia calls a “real breakdown,” a resilient Katy Perry is set to deliver her first child and a new album, “Smile.”

Aug. 12, 2020

Perry’s mental health journey is also explored on her forthcoming fifth studio album, “Smile,” which has a fast-approaching due date — as does her first child, a daughter, with fiancé Orlando Bloom. The singer reflected on her inspirations for the album and her feelings about motherhood in conversation with The Times.

“Five years ago, I would be like, ‘Get this out of me,’” she said of expecting a child. “But I traced back the reasons I felt insecure about it from my own upbringing. And then I reprogrammed them. Our brain is really malleable. You can reshape it any time you want.”

“Smile” arrives Aug. 28.

Times staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.