Yet another showbiz heavyweight is coming to the defence of Ellen DeGeneres.
In an interview with “People (the TV Show)” (as reported by Fox News), comedian and TV personality Steve Harvey detailed his long relationship with the embattled daytime host, dating back to when they were both rising young comics in the Los Angeles comedy scene.
As DeGeneres grapples with rampant reports of behind-the-scenes toxicity and allegations of sexual harassment at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, Harvey described her as “one of the coolest and kindest people I’ve met in this business.”
DeGeneres, said Harvey, is still “the person 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.”
As for why she’s been hit with all those allegations, Harvey theorized that “people want to take something and make something out of everything. [DeGeneres] has no control over what every staff member does, what every producer does, you can’t control that. You don’t even know some of the stuff that’s happening.”
However, he did concede that because “it’s her name that’s on the show” only she can “take the hit.”
Harvey also insisted that DeGeneres is not a racist.
“I’m a 63-year-old Black man. I’ve been Black the entire time. I ain’t took no days off. I ain’t experimented with nothing else. I ain’t got nothing else going. I’ve been a Black dude my whole life. I know racism,” he said.
“If I have a conversation with you, I know if you got racist tendency somewhere in you, because it radiates. I can feel it,” he added. “I’ve been around a long time, man. That’s not Ellen DeGeneres. That’s just not her, period.”
In the long run, Harvey is confident that DeGeneres will weather the storm.
“I think Ellen’s going to be absolutely fine, myself. I really do.”
DeGeneres has stated she’ll be addressing the controversy head-on when the new season of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” premieres on Monday, Sept. 21.