Ellen: ‘I’ll learn to be a better person’
Ellen DeGeneres says she's done with being "the dancing lady", and instead wants to focus her efforts on educating her viewers and herself about the Black Lives Matter movement.
The comedian - who famously opened each episode of her talk show by dancing with her audience - gave viewers an update from her home in California, where she is filming her show in isolation.
"I stand with the protesters who are exercising their rights, and I want to be an ally fighting for change. As a white person I don't always know what to say - right now I think white people have to sit in our discomfort and admit that there's a lot we don't know about a black person's experience," she said.
"There's horrible injustice towards black people that has been ignored for far too long.
"I have tried to use my platform to raise awareness on different issues over the years. I like to think that I'm doing my best, but I think it's time we look at ourselves and saw we have not done enough.
"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 educate my audience. I want to educate myself."
It's been a few days since Ellen posted that video message to her near-90-million Instagram followers, and so far she's stayed true to her word, using her platform to amplify the voices of prominent black people such as filmmaker Ava DuVernay and minister Bernice King to discuss the movement propelled by George Floyd's murder on May 25.
The US has erupted into violent, nationwide protests since horrific footage of Floyd's death at the hands of Minnesota police shocked the world.
In an emotional video posted to her Instagram account a week ago, DeGeneres - who has weathered a PR storm in recent months over allegations she's difficult to work for - pledged to do better.
"I haven't spoken directly because I don't know what to say. I am so sad and I am so angry. I know I'm not going to say the right thing, I know there are going to be a lot of people who are in disagreement with what I say, but I have a platform and I have a voice and I have always stood for equality."
DeGeneres said she'd "always wanted to be the voice for people who felt like they didn't have a voice, because I know what that feels like. Maybe you don't agree with how it's coming out, but you have to understand it, and then we can heal it.
"I'm just so sorry that it's come to this. I really don't know what to say other than this has gone on way, way, way too long. People have gotten away with murder. That's what's happening. We've got to see fairness and justice for all, because right now this is not a fair world, not at all," she said.
Originally published as Ellen: 'I'll learn to be a better person'