As the aftermath of the Jussie Smollett attack continues to unfold, Ellen Page gave an impassioned speech on “The Late Show” blasting President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their anti-LGBTQ policies and emphasizing how those policies affect the experiences of marginalized people.
“Connect the dots, this is what happens,” she said, referring to Smollett’s attack while holding back tears. “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 going to kill themselves and people are going to be beaten on the street.”
Page had said earlier that she felt “fired up.”
“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,” she said.
“The vice president of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife,” she said, as Colbert showed a photo of Page with her wife, Emma Portner. “He wanted to ban that in Indiana, he believes in conversion therapy, he has hurt LGBTQ people so badly as the governor of Indiana.”
She said that she hoped her show “Gaycation,” a Viceland docuseries that explores the lives of LGBTQ people around the world, helped illuminate how governmental policies and rhetoric affect people’s lives.
“I have traveled the world and I have met the most marginalized people you could meet,” she said. “I am lucky to have this time and the privilege to say this. This needs to f—ing stop.”
The speech was met with applause and cheers from the audience.
Smollett, an out gay actor who stars on “Empire,” was attacked early Tuesday morning in Chicago in what police are characterizing as a possible hate crime. The assault involved two men yelling out “racial and homophobic slurs” at Smollett, pouring an “unknown chemical substance” on him, and wrapping a rope around his neck, according to the Chicago Police Department. In a follow-up interview with police, Smollett also told investigators that he heard attackers shout “MAGA country.”
Watch Page’s emotional appeal below.
— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) February 1, 2019