Ellen DeGeneres is a kind-hearted comedian who normally stays out of the political fray. But if you decide, in the immediate aftermath of imposing an immigration ban on seven majority-Muslim nations, to hold a White House screening of her film Finding Dory, then you’ve gone a bridge too far for the widely beloved talk show host.
That’s what DeGeneres succinctly explained to US president Donald Trump in a segment on her show today, using the animated film as a lesson in compassion. In the film, Dory (voiced by DeGeneres), a regal blue tang fish separated from her family, is helped by a diverse cast of creatures to find her way home.
On Friday, Trump signed his executive order banning people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the US. On Sunday, as widespread protests against the ban swirled around the country, Trump screened Finding Dory in the White House movie theater.
“The other animals help Dory—animals that don’t even need her, animals that don’t even have anything in common with her,” DeGeneres said. “They help her even though they’re completely different colors because that’s what you do when you see someone in need. You help them.”
DeGeneres had already come out against the ban on Twitter, another rarity from the comedian:
And DeGeneres was not the only person to notice the unfortunate irony of hosting a screening of Finding Dory in the midst of implementing a sweeping executive order restricting the free movement of people.
Hoping to clear the confusion, White House press secretary Sean Spicer made it clear that the president did not actually watch the film—lest he actually learn something from its message.