Ellen Degeneres has spent much of 2020 involved in controversy and there are claims that the talk show host's famous friends have abandoned her.

The latest hit to Degeneres' "be kind to one another" persona is an announcement that WarnerMedia was conducting an internal investigation into the show's workplace culture. It comes after a Buzzfeed News report exposed allegations about the show's "toxic" environment.

Throughout the ordeal, the talk show host's close friends haven't leapt to defend her - and there could be a key reason why this is.

The Sun reports that Degeneres A-list friends "would have to take great risks" to defend her and the show.

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The source told the publication: "Ellen has gained a reputation as a friend to the stars, but A-listers would have to take great risks to publicly defend the show.

"The explosion of the #MeToo movement has really shone a light on workplace conduct in Hollywood. Studios are under pressure to change the culture."

The 62-year-old's list of celebrity pals include Friends star Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake - but none have addressed the negative claims about Degeneres.

She seemed in good company with several of Hollywood's biggest stars at the Oscars ceremony in 2014 - where the famous "Oscars selfie" took place.

Ellen posed with Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper at the Oscars. Photo / Getty Images
Ellen posed with Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper at the Oscars. Photo / Getty Images

However, bodyguard Tom Majercak's comments about protecting Degeneres put a different spin on the happy moment.

He claimed the host was "cold" and "demeaning" when he worked with her.

It added fuel to the fire of Kevin T Porter's tweet. The comedian branded her "notoriously one of the meanest people alive".

The findings of the internal investigation could further tarnish Ellen's brand, and it will remain to be seen if her famous friends will come to her defence.

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The allegations published from one current and 10 former employees include that they were fired after taking medical or bereavement leave, experienced racism and said they had negative experiences at the hands of the show's management.