Katy Perry will not be backing off her support for Ellen DeGeneres any time soon. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the singer defended her tweets in support of the embattled daytime host—which critics characterized as tone-deaf.
“I started that tweet off not undermining anyone else’s experience,” Perry told the Times. “I wanted to only speak from my own experience. I have over 100 million people that follow me on Twitter, so not everyone is going to agree with me. And I’m not here to make everyone agree with me.”
BuzzFeed first spoke with several former Ellen employees last month, who said they’d experienced racism, fear, and intimidation while working on the popular daytime program. WarnerMedia has opened an investigation into the allegations and let at least one producer go in the wake of BuzzFeed’s reporting. DeGeneres herself has apologized and vowed to take an active role in fixing her show’s behind-the-scenes environment.
But DeGeneres’ A-list defenders—who have included Perry, Kevin Hart, Diane Keaton, and Ted Cruz—have really only made the situation worse by releasing statements that distract from the actual accusations at hand.
Perry and Hart, in particular, focused their statements about their own positive interactions with DeGeneres—ignoring the fact that the way a host treats her celebrity guests has little bearing on how she might allow her employees to be treated.
Earlier this month Perry tweeted, “I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow. I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought... to the world through her platform for decades. Sending you love & a hug, friend @TheEllenShow.”
During her Los Angeles Times interview, Perry admitted she took years to become comfortable speaking out on fraught subjects. In her 2017 deposition amid Kesha’s legal battle against music producer Dr. Luke, whom Kesha has accused of abuse, Perry said she was afraid that taking a public stance could brand her “the one woman that is against women.” (Dr. Luke has denied all of Kesha’s allegations against him.)
“I knew both of them at the time,” Perry told the Times. “It sucks when you know both of the players... I can only speak for my own experience, and my own experience [with Dr. Luke] was a healthy one. I believe in due process. And I also believe that only they know the truth.”