Rosie O'Donnell speaks out regarding 'Ellen' show allegations: 'I have compassion'

In a new interview for Busy Philipps' podcast, Rosie O'Donnell said she felt for the embattled talk show host. "I have compassion, even though I hear the stories and I understand."
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has made headlines over the summer, but not for the skits, pranks and dances viewers have come to love.

Instead, allegations of a toxic workplace have gained attention, including harassment and sexual misconduct claims against top producers, and some of them have left the show.

But some allegations have also been aimed at the host herself, by those who say she doesn’t follow her own “be kind” motto — and now a former fellow talk show host has something to say about that.

"You can't fake your essence," Rosie O'Donnell recently explained during an interview on Busy Philipps' podcast. "That's why I have compassion for Ellen, right? I have compassion, even though, you know, I hear the stories and I understand. I think she has some social awkwardness."

The 58-year-old actor, author and TV personality had her own talk show from 1996 to 2002, and she then went on to serve as a co-host on “The View” for stints in 2006 and 2014.

But she was not basing her opinion on DeGeneres, 62, from her own experience behind a talk show desk. O’Donnell and DeGeneres have known each other for a long time.

"I think that from knowing her for so many years, I have my own kind of history with her,” she added.

O’Donnell isn’t the only celebrity who has spoken up in the wake of the toxic workplace talk.

A number of celebrities have spoken in DeGeneres' defense, including Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry, Kevin Hart, Diane Keaton, Jerry O'Connell, Scooter Braun and most recently, Sofia Vergara.

Former "Ellen DeGeneres Show" DJ Tony Okungbowa recently spoke out as well, saying that he felt the "toxicity of the environment" during his time there.