Ellen DeGeneres Involves Medal of Freedom Honorees in Mannequin Challenge
Celebrity| | By Sara Wilkins
Ellen DeGeneres gathered stars including Tom Hanks and Robert De Niro for a mannequin challenge at the White House on Tuesday.
Stars around the world have been taking part in the challenge – which requires people to stand stock still like mannequins in various positions as the camera pans around, usually to the soundtrack of Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” – with many of their offerings going viral.
After her now infamous Oscars selfie, which became the most retweeted message of all the time in 2014, the talk show host decided to take on the challenge during her trip to the White House for the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony.
She enlisted the help of the ceremony’s other honorees, including Hanks, De Niro, legendary basketball player Michael Jordan, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen and business tycoon Bill Gates, and in the footage, the camera pans around the room to show a huge group of people all standing still for the video, which has been retweeted more than 4,000 times and liked over 16,000 times.
DeGeneres shared the footage on her Twitter page with the caption “I’m in” after earlier revealing she was having trouble getting into President Barack Obama’s residence because she had forgotten her ID.
Look what @RitaWilson #Ellen and I got everyone to do! I’m in the pink dress laughing with Rita! It’s the #MannequinChallenge, Presidential Medal of Freedom Edition at the @WhiteHouse!! Starring #RobertDeNiro, @RitaWilson, @TheEllenShow, @KareemAbdulJabbar_33, @TomHanks, #BillGates, #MichaelJordan, @FrankGehry, my mama #DianaRoss, and more!
A video posted by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on
Later, DeGeneres was presented with her Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama, who praised the personality for her bravery in coming out as gay back in 1997.
“It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far… just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago,” Obama said during the ceremony.
“What an incredible burden that was to bear – to risk your career like that – people don’t do that very often. And then, to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders. It’s like Ellen says: we all want a tortilla chip that can support the weight of guacamole… Which really makes no sense to me, but I thought would break the mood because I was getting kind of choked up.”
Obama wasn’t the only one to find himself overcome with emotion – DeGeneres also appeared to be struggling to control herself, and appeared teary eyed as she was presented with the medal.