Past Thursday night, Ellen Page made an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
," which would resonate with the audience for some time afterward. The Canadian actress was ostensibly on the show to promote her upcoming Netflix series »The Umbrella Academy«, but within minutes, the entire conversation took a completely unexpected and emotional turn. It all started with a harmless joke about Ellen being short, the mention of her first wedding anniversary and the question if Hollywood's attitudes towards the LGBT community have gotten better since her public coming out on February 14, 2014. She responded that while things have improved, "we need to hurry up. It's not cutting it."
Directly after host Stephen Colbert commiserated with his female guest over the effects of global warming, wondering how they could "get the public and the media to pay more attention to what's happening." He added, "There's such a long time span," that people didn't feel it was an immediate threat. "Is it that long?" Page said skeptically while Colbert argued that "until the water started swamping Manhattan, or just washes away Mar-a-Lago," the public and media wouldn't take it seriously. "You don't want to think such terrible things are going to happen!" he joked. The actress, who is involved in many environmental causes herself, blamed "environmental racism" saying that "people of color" do nothing to cause global warming but are disproportionately affected by it. "This is happening and it's happening to the most marginalized people and we need to be talking about it!" she urged. If that wasn't provocative enough, Page then predicted the date the world was going to end: "It's really serious. We've been told, as we know it, that by 2030, the world as we know it, that's it. That's it! If it was a movie, we'd have Bruce Willis in a suit, like talking about something — please cast me," she gushed while concluding the thought with the words "Please, Amy Adams, save us" as a reference to Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed 2016 science fiction film "Arrival". "Talking about it," Page continued, should not include debates about whether climate change is a real thing. "The urgency is so severe, and yet we have a media that's barely talking about it,” she said. “We have a media that's saying it's a debate whether or not what just happened to Jussie Smollett is a hate crime. It's absurd! This shit isn't a debate."
“Sorry, I'm, like, really fired up tonight," she sheepishly apologized before proceeding with a statement against the current policies of the US government. "It feels impossible not to feel this way right now with the president and the vice president Mike Pence, who wishes I could not be married, let's just be clear. The vice president of America wishes I didn't have the love with my wife. He wanted to ban that in Indiana, he believes in conversion therapy, he has hurt LGBTQ people so badly as the governor of Indiana." From there, she connected the dots between what happened to out gay actor Jussie Smollett — who, according to the local police department, was attacked early Tuesday morning in Chicago by two men yelling out "racial and homophobic slurs," pouring an "unknown chemical substance" on him, and wrapping a rope around his neck — and the effect having anti-LGBTQ+ politicians in charge has on the culture at large. "If you are in a position of power and you hate people, and you want to cause suffering to them, you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused and they're gonna kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street,” she said, clearly holding back tears. "I have traveled the world and I have met the most marginalized people you could meet," she referred to her own VICELAND show »Gaycation«
, on which she traveled to countries around the world, investigating how they each treat LGBTQ+ people. "I am lucky to have this time and the privilege to say this. This needs to fucking stop."
Her remarkable and powerful speech was not only met with applause and cheers from the audience in the studio, but also picked up by the press and shared by many supporters including acting colleagues such as Mark Ruffalo
and Julianne Moore
within just a few hours. In addition, #EllenPage was trending on Twitter, meaning thousands of people were mentioning the actress in their tweets. Here's hoping for a sustainable effect of her plea and that it will stay in people's minds for a long time to come.
+++ Update 02/24/2019 +++
After weeks of conflicting reports, moving interviews and rumors, the Chicago Police Department has presented the results of its investigation into the alleged hate-fueled assault of actor Jussie Smollett. As the Chicago Tribune
reports, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson revealed that Smollett faked a threatening, homophobic letter before paying $3,500 to Abel and Ola Osundairo, brothers who had previously worked on Empire, to stage the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary on the Fox series. The scratches and bruises on Smollett's face were "self-inflicted" and he "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Johnson added. "It's shameful. It's just despicable...It makes you wonder what’s going on in someone’s mind to be able to do something like that. I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention." While investigations are still ongoing, there was no further statement from Ellen Page on this case so far.
+++ Update 02/27/2019 +++
Ellen wrote an op-ed published on February 27 to remind the world that - regardless of whether actor Jussie Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack against himself - hate violence against members of marginalized communities is very real. "We, as LGBTQ+ people, are forced to fear for our safety because instances of hate violence... happen. They happen to us all the time," the actress and LGBTQ activist mentioned in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter
. "I had no reason to doubt Jussie," Page continued, adding that through her recent work on her TV docuseries »Gaycation«
she has met many survivors of hate crimes.
Finally, we have some new photos from the recent press conference for »The Umbrella Academy« held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles on January 27, 2019. To our knowledge, it was the first event of this kind with animalistic support. And, with respect to our previous news update, we would like to mention that we eventually found some photos of Ellen attending the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.