Comedian says she put out an announcement because of the need to protect oceans and the reef, and cannot understand what the fuss is all about
The US talkshow queen Ellen DeGeneres is bewildered her call to protect the Great Barrier Reef has sparked a backlash in Australia.
DeGeneres made headlines earlier in the week with the release of a video public service announcement as part of the Remember the Reef campaign.
The comedian was criticised by Nine Networks Today Show co-host Karl Stefanovic and bombarded with five tweets from the environment minister, Greg Hunt.
I put out a PSA because I do believe we should protect our oceans and protect the reef, and I dont know whats controversial about that, DeGeneres said in a video interview on Friday.
DeGeneres joined Disney, the Hollywood movie studio behind her new animated sequel Finding Dory, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as part of the Remember the Reef campaign.
Stefanovic claimed DeGeneres had missed the mark and may have become involved in the campaign to help sell Finding Dory.
My concern is she has got involved in that around the whole notion of selling a movie anyway, Stefanovic told viewers of his show.
Hunt fired off tweets to DeGeneres praising the governments work on the reef and inviting her to visit.
The reef is in decline, threatened by coral bleaching, poor water quality and crown of thorn starfish.
DeGeneres said she was pleased the Australian government was attempting to combat the reefs degradation.
If they are pouring money into it, good for them, she said. Im glad they are.
Finding Dory, Disneys sequel to the 2003 global hit Finding Nemo, begins on the Great Barrier Reef with DeGeneres returning as the voice of Dory, a blue tang fish with short-term memory loss.
Finding Dory opens in Australia on June 16.