Over the past few weeks, Ellen DeGeneres has been accused by dozens of current and former employees of turning a blind eye to racism, intimidation, and sexual misconduct on the set of her talk show. In the wake of this, fans dug up a 2015 video in which they claim the host mocked the accent of former “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara.

Vergara, however, was not having any of it.

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In the video, DeGeneres and Vergara discussed a CoverGirl commercial they filmed together, with the host pointing out the “America’s Got Talent” judge’s English while asking why producers gave her such complicated copy to read. Fans took this to mean that DeGeneres was mocking Vergara’s accent, but Vergara responded on Twitter by saying that she was “in on the joke.”

“Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain. I was never a victim guys, I was always in on the joke,” Vergara tweeted.

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Despite this defense of DeGeneres, some fans still refused to cut the host any slack.

“My parents, who have heavy spanish accents, didn’t have the option to be “in on the joke,” wrote one disappointed fan. “Instead, they were the butt of jokes. And as a child of immigrants, I was always picked on because of that. Your “entertainment” may lead to some to think they have a free pass to ridicule.”

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This comes days after DeGeneres broke down on a Zoom call with over 200 staffers as she admitted that she is “not perfect” and realized that in the effort for the show to run as a “well-oiled machine,” sometimes leaders were not as sensitive to “human beings” as they should have been. The seasoned talk show host reportedly went on to say that reading the disturbing allegations about the toxic atmosphere on the show was “heartbreaking.”

On this call, sources said Degeneres pledged to interact with her staff more while working on the show’s upcoming season, which she expressed excitement about starting next month. She then addressed the persistent rumor that no staff members were allowed to look her in the eye.

“I don’t know where it started,” said DeGeneres, 62. “Please talk to me. Look me in the eye.”

She went on to describe this rumor as “insane,” adding, “It’s crazy, just not true, I don’t know how it started. [It’s] not who I am.”

This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.

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