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    Updated on Aug 12, 2020. Posted on Aug 12, 2020

    Ellen DeGeneres's Longtime DJ, Tony Okungbowa, Called Out The "Toxicity" Of Her Workplace

    "I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment."

    If you're a longtime viewer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, then you definitely know Tony Okungbowa — he was her very first DJ, and a consistent presence on the show alongside Ellen from 2003 to 2013.

    Tony in his DJ booth on "Ellen"
    Warner Bros.

    Well, Ellen has recently faced public backlash for a number of reasons. There have been allegations of racism and intimidation on her talk show set, her former security guard called her "demeaning" to work for, Twitter was set ablaze with rumors about negative interactions with her, and in a recent report by BuzzFeed News, several former staffers accused Ellen's producers of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace.

    Ellen DeGeneres
    Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

    In the wake of all this negative press, many celebrities have leapt to Ellen's defense, including Scooter Braun, Kevin Hart, and Katy Perry.

    1/2 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

    2/2 to the world through her platform for decades. Sending you love & a hug, friend @TheEllenShow ♥️

    But in a statement recently posted on his personal social media pages, Tony Okungbowa did not defend his former boss — in fact, he called out the "toxicity" of working on her set.

    Tony in his DJ booth on "Ellen"
    Warner Bros.

    "Hey Guys, I hope you are all keeping safe out there during these trying times," Tony wrote. "I have been getting calls asking me about The Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there."

    "I was on-air talent from 2003-2006 and from 2007-2013. While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment," he continued.

    Tony in his DJ booth on "Ellen"
    Warner Bros.

    And Tony expressed his "solidarity" with Ellen's former and current staffers who are now speaking out and demanding change.

    Jason Kempin / Getty Images

    "I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward."

    Photo of Tony Okungbowa
    Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

    In the comments of his post, people are sending love to Tony and praising him for speaking out:

    Comment that reads: Wow. I recall you being on the show, watching from UK. I thought what a breakthrough, black English and on a prime time US. We never what what goes on behind closed doors! . Well done for speaking out. Progress????
    Instagram

    Many people remarked on Tony being a "favorite" part of the show for them:

    Comment that reads: You were one of my favorite parts of the show, and it was sad when you left. So sad that the rumors appear to be true.
    Instagram

    Some reflected back on old skits Tony was involved in with Ellen, calling them "demoralizing":

    Comment that reads: Not surprised, some of her skits and the way she treated you on air was demoralizing
    Instagram

    Today, Ellen's current DJ, Stephen "tWitch" Boss, released his own statement to Us Weekly about the allegations.

    Photo of DJ tWitch
    Tommaso Boddi

    "We can’t speak too much legally about it, but I’ll say this, there’s been love," he said. "Obviously there’s some things to address, but from my standpoint and from countless others, there’s been love. I’ll just leave it at that until there’s a time where we can address more publicly."

    Photo of Ellen DeGeneres
    Charley Gallay / Getty Images

    You can check out Tony's full statement on the matter below. For more information on the most recent allegations against Ellen's producers, click here.

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