As more troubling details emerge from behind-the-scenes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the internet is discovering that the daytime talk show and its host may have been problematic for a long time. Many are pointing to an old episode of the show featuring Sofia Vergara as proof of Ellen DeGeneres' role in its toxic culture, but the Modern Family actress would personally like to be excluded from this narrative.
Ellen has come under fire as reports revealed that its workplace was aggressively toxic for many of its employees. Internal reports showed that the production of the series was plagued with issues, with current and formers Ellen employees claiming that harassment and sexual misconduct were the norm on set. The situation was made worse as people online began to examine the host's behavior on-camera, taking note of what they believe is a disturbing behavioral pattern of being rude to her guests.
Vergara is one of those examples. A clip from her December 2015 appearance on the talk show began circulating the internet, showing the stars talking about their recent collaboration on a CoverGirl commercial.
"They give her the hardest lines too because we have to describe what's in the CoverGirl makeup, and she has such a hard time pronouncing any of the ingredients," DeGeneres joked.
"I think because you are much more famous than me and older than me, so they give you priority," Vergara fired back playfully. "And you read the script first and then you're the one that makes me say those words because there's no way!"
While many see the interaction as just another instance of DeGeneres attempting to belittle her guest — and Twitter has the receipts — Vergara was not at all offended by the conversation.
"Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain,” the star said of the clip on Twitter on Friday. “I was never a victim guys, I was always in on the joke.”
Her defense of what she described as a lighthearted moment didn't stop fans from showing their disapproval. For some, the consistent jokes about Vergara's accent point to a more insidious racism that so many immigrants have faced.
"I am glad you were not hurt or offended but that does not change the fact that for many, those are not jokes," one Twitter user replied to Vergara. "Whether you find them funny or not, the comments were racist and play into nasty stereotypes and ideas that all immigrants have to assimilate to sound like us."