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Portia de Rossi speaks out as criticism of wife Ellen Degeneres mounts

Los Angeles – Actress Portia de Rossi defended Ellen DeGeneres on Monday after a social media campaign called for the talk show host to step down following reports of a hostile work environment for employees on set.

De Rossi, who has been married to DeGeneres for 12 years, posted an “I Stand By Ellen” hashtag on her Instagram account.

“To all our fans… we see you. Thank you for your support,” the former “Ally McBeal” actress wrote on Monday.

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has won multiple Emmy awards but both the talk show and DeGeneres herself have been under fire for weeks because of complaints by former productions staffers about a hostile workplace that included racism and bullying by upper management and claims that the comedian is mean-spirited.

Warner Bros. Television, which produces the talk show, conducted an internal investigation and said last week that staffing changes and other measures were being taken to address the issue.

DeGeneres also emailed staff, expressing regrets about the gulf between the show’s happy public face and what was sometimes happening backstage.

Rather than damping criticism, the developments led to the #ReplaceEllen hashtag, which went viral on Monday. Users suggested that celebrities ranging from British singer Harry Styles to former US first lady Michelle Obama should take over the show.

Warner Bros. Television on Monday did not respond to a request for further comment.

Other celebrities like Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras and DJ Samantha Ronson also publicly supported DeGeneres.

“She makes the world a better place for millions of people everyday and we cannot hit her because something may have not been perfect,” Figueras wrote on Instagram.

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YEES 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 YES Nacho 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 #Repost @nachofigueras I have been patiently waiting for someone with more authority than me to speak up about what a great human being @theellenshow is. I have been very lucky to be on that show many times and I can tell you that it is a very well run machine, everyone was super nice, not just to me but to each other and anyone involved. I have seen Ellen act not just in her show but in public appearances in theaters where she is nice to absolutely everyone, the guy serving the coffee, the person in the elevator, the security guy and the owner of the venue. Everyone loves her because that is who she is. She makes the world a better place for millions of people everyday and we cannot hit her because something may have not been perfect. No one is perfect, and we cannot control everything. So I stand for you my friend and I challenge all the amazing people that know you and call you a friend to say who you are. The world has become a very dangerous place because it seems that we cannot make anything right. If I am going to be criticized for defending someone that I think deserves to be defended then so be it. We are all so scared to say what we really think and it seems that we are only relevant if we say whatever the trending social media topic is. So… We love Ellen right? @jenniferaniston @jlo @michelleobama @pink @seanhayes @ladygaga @oprah @katyperry @justintimberlake and whoever else should be on this list which is really long. . . #istandwithellendegeneres #istandbyellen #nachofigueras #ellen #ellendegeneres

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