The video, which has nearly 8 million views, is comprised of three appearances by Vergara on DeGeneres’ daytime talk show. It was a part of a longer Twitter thread based on the comedian’s behaviour.
In the beginning of the video, DeGeneres says she’s going to “teach” Vergara an English word, tells the actor in the second clip that her accent “has gotten worse” and then, during an interview with Reese Witherspoon and Vergara, says that the “Modern Family” star’s English has “gotten better.”
Vergara, who was born in Colombia, seemingly spoke out in reference to the viral video compilation in a tweet on Friday, attaching a YouTube video of her full appearance on DeGeneres’ show (seen in the beginning of the viral clip).
“Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain. I was never a victim guys, I was always in on the joke,” she wrote.
To Vergara’s point, when celebrities appear on talk shows, the hosts (or their team of writers) will normally go over material and ask for stories beforehand to bring up during their appearance. Still, the mocking Vergara’s accent ― and by extension her ethnicity ― raised questions about the propriety of Degeneres’ jokes.
DeGeneres’ interactions with guests and her own staff have come under intensifying scrutiny after a bombshell Buzzfeed News report alleged that her employees “faced racism, fear, and intimidation” at work and that the show allowed rampant sexual misconduct.
Following the claims, the NBC show’s distributor, Warner Bros., began conducting its own internal investigation. Three of the show’s producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, “parted ways” with the show last week, according to CNN.
DeGeneres also apologised to staff and promised to “correct the issues” in an email obtained by Variety.
“As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t,” DeGeneres wrote. “That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
Amid the allegations, many of DeGeneres’ celebrity friends ― like Vergara, Diane Keaton, Kevin Hart and Katy Perry ― have continued to defend her.