Ellen DeGeneres commits to being an 'ally' after criticism over Black Lives Matter comments
The host and comedian admits she may not have always done all she can to help, but aims to from now on.
Ellen DeGeneres wants to educate herself and her audience.
In a clip from Thursday's at-home episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host explained she intends to be better and do better in the wake of George Floyd's death on May 25 at the hands of the police and the subsequent nationwide outcry and protests against racism and police brutality.
"I stand with the protestors who are exercising their rights and I want to be an ally fighting for change," she begins. "As a white person, I don’t always know what to say. I think right now white people have to just sit in our discomfort and we have to admit there's a lot we don’t know about black people’s lives and about a black person’s experience. There is horrible injustice towards black people that has been ignored for far too long."
The comedian and host went on to explain that she's tried to use her platform to raise awareness on different issues over the years, but admits she might've fallen short of doing all she can. "I like to think that I’m doing my best, but I think it’s time that we have to look at ourselves and we have to say we have not done enough," she said. "I want to learn how to be a better person, how to do better. I was the dancing lady for a little while and now I want to help educate my audience. I want to educate myself."
DeGeneres experienced online backlash for her initial comments in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement, as some found them too vague and ineffective. That tweet — which said, in part, "For things to change, things must change" — has since been deleted. She then posted a message on Instagram, sharing her sadness of recent events and addressing the fact she hadn't yet spoken directly because she didn't know what to say. "I'm so sad and I'm so angry," she said tearfully in the video. "I've always stood for equality. I've always wanted to be the voice for people who felt like they didn't have a voice because I know what that feels like...I'm just so sorry that it's come to this. I don't know what to say other than this has gone on way, way, way too long. People have gotten away with murder and that's what's happening."
During Thursday's show, she also invited The Ellen Show's resident DJ tWitch to talk on the matter. He then encouraged people to speak out even if they're afraid of making mistakes and saying the wrong thing, as it's the only way to learn, adding, "If you don’t make the mistake, just by doing nothing, that still is a stance. A non-stance is a stance at this point in time." He also made the point that Black Lives Matter allies don't have to be perfect. "At this point we just need allies," he said.
Watch the videos above.
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.
The Ellen Show