Ellen Page on Jussie Smollett: ‘Hate Violence Is Not a Hoax’
The 'X-Men' star spoke about the alleged attack on the 'Empire' star for the first time since her interview with Colbert — when she partly blamed Mike Pence
Actress Ellen Page (pictured above right) was one of the first public figures to back “Empire” star Jussie Smollett’s story about being attacked in Chicago by two white Trump supporters.
Smollett claimed he was attacked by two men wearing Make America Great Again hats. He said the men attempted to put a noose around his neck and assaulted him while yelling, “MAGA country!” in the early hours of the morning last month.
A police investigation commenced and now Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct. Chicago police believe Smollett’s story was a hoax and that he paid two Nigerian brothers who had been extras on “Empire” to help him stage the attack.
The Chicago Police Department says this was all because Smollett wanted to “up” his public profile in order to get a larger salary on “Empire.”
Smollett denies these claims. But there is video footage of the Nigerian men buying masks and rope for a noose; and Smollett’s own account of the story has changed several times.
Page was one of many celebrities to immediately back Smollett’s story and use it as fuel to go after the Trump administration.
“The urgency is so severe, and yet we have a media that’s barely talking about it,” Page said in an interview with Stephen Colbert following the Smollett story. “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 s*** isn’t a debate.”
Page then went on to tie the Smollett story to the Trump administration — and specifically Vice President Mike Pence and his stance on homosexual marriage.
“This is what happens,” she said. “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. People are going to be beaten on the street.”
No matter how one feels about Pence or his positions, Page’s words were absurd. She was essentially saying Smollett was attacked because men like Pence encourage it through their words.
No matter how one feels about Pence or his positions, Page’s words were absurd.
Page was, of course, silent as more details about the Smollett case emerged. Many other celebrities who originally backed Smollett’s story also stayed silent — and continue to do so.
Now Page has addressed her interview with Colbert and her words on Smollett and Pence in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter titled, “Hate Violence Is Not a Hoax.”
Page’s words in the article are even more embarrassing and myopic than her claims in the Colbert interview.
Not only did she not apologize for her rush to judgement or her strange attempt to connect Pence to Smollett — the Smollett case is only briefly mentioned. Page instead spent most of the column trying to change the narrative and prove that hate crimes are real.
What’s so odd about her written words is that no intelligent person is claiming hate crimes don’t exist following the Smollett case; people are instead rightly saying these hoaxes set us back and build narratives that harm real hate crimes.
“The conversation around Smollett has led us all to examine hate violence and its implications and aftermath,” Page wrote when she finally got around to talking about Smollett — the piece opened with a story of a hate crime that took place in Seattle.
“I had no reason to doubt Jussie. My work on ‘Gaycation’ — the docuseries I produced to chronicle LGBTQ+ stories from around the world — introduced me to many survivors of hate violence. I know how prevalent and pernicious it can be. If this situation was staged, it could make victims even more reluctant to report these crimes. Very real crimes.”
Page then went on to list some frightening statistics about suicide rates among young gay men and women. While those statistics are heartbreaking, Page simply used them as a way to distract from her own rush to judgment and the conversation that should be had about faking hate crimes and building a false narrative around the millions of Americans who voted for President Trump.
Nowhere in her column did Page apologize to Pence or the millions of Americans she helped to smear in her Colbert interview.
Her column was just the latest example of the refusal of elite Hollywood liberals to move outside of their own bubble and have a real conversation.
Check out Page’s Colbert interview below: