Katy Perry, Kevin Hart, Diane Keaton stand up for embattled Ellen DeGeneres

Katy Perry performing this year.
Katy Perry, seen performing this year, has kind words for Ellen DeGeneres.
(Asanka Ratnayake / Associated Press)

Katy Perry cast a middle-of-the-night smile on Ellen DeGeneres, posting her take on the embattled talk show host for the whole world to see. The pop musician is not the only celebrity coming to DeGeneres’ defense. Actor Kevin Hart also chimed in with his support Tuesday morning, as did actress Diane Keaton.

“I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow,” Perry wrote in a couple of tweets in the wee hours Tuesday.

“I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought to the world through her platform for decades,” Perry added. “Sending you love & a hug, friend.”

Comedian Hart joined in hours later, calling it “crazy” to see what DeGeneres is going through. Hart is familiar with backlash, given the drama surrounding his old homophobic tweets that prompted him to back out of hosting the 2019 Oscars. He later talked about his discussion with DeGeneres — stirring up yet another round of debate, this time aimed at both of them.

“I have known Ellen for years and I can honestly say that she’s one of the dopest people on the ... planet,” Hart wrote Tuesday in an Instagram post. “She has treated my family and my team with love and respect from day 1. The internet has become a crazy world of negativity .... we are falling in love with peoples down fall. It’s honestly sad ... When did we get here?”


He added that his post was “not meant to disregard the feelings of others and their experiences .... It’s simply to show what my experiences have been with my friend. Love you for life, Ellen.”

Kevin Hart performs during his Netflix special "Kevin Hart: Now What?"
Kevin Hart also spoke out Tuesday in support of Ellen DeGeneres.

Keaton, who has been DeGeneres’ guest 19 times, piped up as well.

“I ALWAYS ENJOYED MY VISITS TO THE ELLEN SHOW. I’VE SEEN HOW THE AUDIENCE EXUDES HAPPINESS AND GRATITUDE. SHE GIVES BACK TO SO MANY INCLUDING ME,” she wrote Tuesday on Instagram, captioning a photo of her talking to DeGeneres on the show.

Their support comes amid the #ReplaceEllen hashtag trending on Twitter this week, with users suggesting who should take DeGeneres’ place if she were to exit her show.

Perry has appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” 13 times since 2008, according to IMDb, and Hart has been on the program 14 times since 2012. Keaton did the first of her many visits just months after the show premiered in 2003.

The “Be kind to one another” comedian and her talk show have been facing an onslaught of bad publicity in recent months after longstanding rumors of a toxic work environment surfaced publicly in a number of ways. They culminated in a July story by BuzzFeed News in which former and current employees reported experiencing racism and intimidation.

About 10 days after that report came out, show producers said they were looking into the allegations of a toxic workplace. Last week, DeGeneres finally addressed the situation.

“As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve 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,” the host said in a memo viewed by The Times. “Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”

After several reports of a toxic working environment on the set of the comedian’s show, distributor Warner Bros. has brought in consultants to examine the claims.

Prior to the BuzzFeed story, comedian Kevin T. Porter solicited negative stories about DeGeneres in a March 20 Twitter thread to raise money for the L.A. Food Bank. A plan to donate $2 per story morphed into a $600 donation after Porter said he didn’t want to count the myriad replies.

A Dutch makeup artist who appeared on the show in January to talk about coming out as transgender was vocal in April about what a bad experience she had, and DeGeneres also ticked people off in early April with a self-quarantine joke that many called tone deaf.

And in the early weeks of the pandemic, more than 30 core stage crew members who had been on hiatus complained about poor communication from top producers regarding reduced pay and whether they were furloughed.