Netflix’s Umbrella Academy actress Ellen Page responded to police claims that the attack on Jussie Smollet is a hoax.
Page had previously ripped into both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In the same interview she addressed the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett stating, “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. F***, There isn’t a debate.” She would use that statement to lead into an attack on the President and Vice President.
Page also recently attacked Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt over his church attendance describing his church as “infamously anti lgbtq.”
Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too? https://t.co/meg8m69FeF
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 8, 2019
After detailing an assault at a Seattle Seahawks game, Page writes:
“The conversation around Jussie Smollett has led us all to examine hate violence and its implications and aftermath. 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 would continue:
“I ask you not to question our pain, not to draw into question our trauma, but to maintain, wholeheartedly, that hate violence exists. The merits of one case should not and cannot call that into question. The media coverage does not convey the reality and totality of the cruelty and danger we face. This is the story that must be told.”
Page notes that she benefits from her “income and status,” but she has “not escaped the threats of violence and the very real acts of violence and harassment that threaten and endanger our community and other underrepresented people.” She adds, “I endured bullying and sexual violence as a child and teenager on the street and in my professional life. My heart breaks for the people I’ve met who cannot protect themselves and who are objects of scorn, hatred, discrimination and violence because of the social and political context in which they live.”
She then goes on to declare that “hatred toward otherized people is institutionalized here and across the globe and reinforced by political rhetoric.” Her evidence to this statement is that “FBI data released in 2018 shows reported hate crimes in America rose 17 percent the year prior, the third consecutive year of escalation.” She also points to a study from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs that “reported the deadliest year on record for the LGBTQ+ community.”
While Page doesn’t cite the actual study, it appears to be from 2016, where the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) “collected aggregate data on 1,036 incidents of hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people from 12 local NCAVP member organizations in 11 states.” In fact, the study notes, “Since NCAVP only analyzes data collected from individuals who self-reported and from other public sources, the information presented is not representative of the experiences of all LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of hate violence in the United States.”
The report includes the terrorist attack against the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It also notes, “Outside of those lives lost during the Pulse Nightclub shooting, NCAVP recorded
28 individual hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, an increase of 17% from 24 in 2015.”
Page then points the finger at what she says describes as the cause of the violence:
“When the rhetoric we read and the hate speech we hear comes from our politicians, our media and entertainment, our neighbors and families and our religious leaders, we internalize the pain in damaging, self-defeating ways.”
She continues, “Cruel words and laws and beliefs cause real suffering. Queerphobia/transphobia is violence perpetrated on our children, our families, our friends and neighbors and the forgotten among us who have no voice. We all have to work together to end the normalization of anti LGBTQ+ sentiment and rhetoric.”
Page cites The American Journal of Public Health that “has reported that each moment of anti-LGBTQ+ verbal or physical abuse raises the chances of self-harm by 2.5 times.”
Finally, Page concludes:
“No child, no teenager, no adult — no one deserves to be victimized because of who they are. No one should feel shame for who they were born to be or to live their life in fear. I am going to use my voice and visibility to continue speaking and — as storytellers and members of an industry with a global platform — I implore you to join me.”
What do you make of Page’s comments? Do you agree with her?