Ellen Page, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show

On Thursday’s Late Show to promote her new Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, an adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s Dark Horse Comics series about a family of grown-up child superheroes, Ellen Page, instead, used her network airtime to fight some real-world evils. The actress and noted environmental and LGBTQ activist picked up on Stephen Colbert’s questions about her one-year anniversary with her wife, the dancer and choreographer Emma Portner, to deliver a blistering rebuke to those in positions of power—naming, naturally Donald Trump and Mike Pence—whose entire mission in life has been, according to Page, “to want to cause suffering.”

Segueing from a discussion of global warming—and the media’s coddling of those with a vested interest in still calling the end of “life as we know it” a debate—the Inception star laid into Pence by name as someone whose lifelong hatred of, and campaign against, gay people has caused untold but all-too-observable harm. Noting that the same news outlets and pundits that kowtow to the “debate” over global warming are also waffling over whether or not to call the racist, homophobic attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett on Tuesday a hate crime, Page had Colbert’s in-studio audience silently spellbound as she stated, passionately:

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. I have traveled the world and I have met the most marginalized people you can meet. I am lucky to have this time and this privilege to say this. This needs to fucking stop.

Advertisement

Page, indeed, has used her considerable celebrity to travel the world, for her show Gaycation, to examine the ways in which marginalized LGBTQ people are impacted by hateful bigots in positions of power. (She sat down with Brazilian politician—and now president—Jair Bolsonaro to confront one such powerful bigot about comments about “beating the gay out of” children, for example.) And, while she apologized to Colbert for being “really fired up tonight,” Colbert gave the fired-up Page plenty of space to lay out Mike Pence’s long history as Indiana governor of supporting “gay conversion” therapy, and trying to ban gay marriage. With Colbert deftly holding up the picture of Page and Portner that he had shown earlier in the interview for emphasis, Page explained how the vice president of the United States “wishes I couldn’t be married.” “Connect the dots,” Page urged Colbert’s viewers, once more pointing out how hateful rhetoric from the top actually winds up hurting people—sometimes on the streets of Chicago.