It’s no secret to fans of Ellen DeGeneres’s that on Nov. 22, the comedian turned talk show host received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the United States awards to civilians. But the day didn’t go so smoothly for DeGeneres. As it turns out, you need an ID to enter the White House, and she realized she didn’t have hers when she and wife, Portia de Rossi, arrived. But, fortunately for DeGeneres, she had the power of social media on her side.
When DeGeneres was denied entry, she was stuck with the option of sitting on a bench outside the White House while her driver went back to the hotel for her ID. She then found herself explaining to the other honorees, like Bruce Springsteen, why she was on the bench and not inside: She thought her face was her ID.
“Portia thought it was hilarious, so she took a picture of me and we tweeted it out,” DeGeneres explained, later adding, “Anyway, we tweeted it out, and after it was viewed by millions of people in about five minutes, someone came out and went, ‘You can come in now.’”
Once inside the White House and waiting for the ceremony to start, DeGeneres found herself in a room with some of the most accomplished, influential people in the country. And what do you do when surrounded by people of that ilk? The Mannequin Challenge, of course. It took some explaining to those who had no idea what the Mannequin Challenge is, but after about 15 minutes, they pulled it off.
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