Ellen Page visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday night to promote Netflix’s Umbrella Academy (streaming Feb. 15), and the latter part of her appearance shifted to the attack on Jussie Smollett. The Juno and Inception actress, who is also openly gay (as Smollett is), declared (around the 7:00 minute mark) that she was “fired up” after two men assaulted the Empire star while reportedly shouting homophobic and racial slurs. The Chicago PD and FBI are jointly investigating the attack as a hate crime, and Page believes that leadership is ultimately responsible for what has transpired.
Page detailed how she’s endured an enormous amount of homophobia during her career and personal life. She calls this “unfortunate” and believes that the current administration’s policies contribute to the continued normalization of homophobia. Page then directly calls out VP Mike Pence for advocating for “conversion therapy” (to be more precise, he actually advocated for the use of federal funding to “provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior”) while he was Indiana governor. She grew tearful while continuing:
“Connect the dots, this is what happens. If you are in a position of power and you hate people and you wanna 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. I have traveled the world and I have met the most marginalized people you could meet. I am lucky to have this time and the privilege to say this. This needs to f**king stop.”
In the days since the attack in Chicago, heated arguments have taken place with a certain amount of backlash also landing upon those public figures with a history of homophobic “jokes” and tweets. Those remarks, as well, are being viewed as contributing to the cultural normalization of homophobia, which could play a role in furthering hate-inspired attacks like the one upon Smollett.
The Chicago PD is asking anyone with information about the attack to call 312-717-8382 or report tips anonymously at cpdtip.com.