Ellen DeGeneres on that rumored lesbian couple in “Finding Dory”

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Is that a lesbian couple that we see in Finding Dory or, as Ellen DeGeneres says, just a case of a woman with a “bad haircut”?

During yesterday’s press conference for the upcoming Disney/Pixar sequel to the 2003 hit, Finding Nemo, Ellen took questions about a possible lesbian couple in the film in stride and offered up her trademark humor in response to questions. In fact, she said she wasn’t aware of the controversy that erupted after the trailer showed the two women in question until the film’s premiere Wednesday night in Hollywood, which she attended with wife Portia De Rossi.

“I didn’t know anything about it until I heard this rumor and then when I watched the premiere last night I was looking for that particular scene and it appears there are two women. One woman has a very bad, short haircut, which I find very offensive,” Ellen said, sporting her signature short hair and getting laughs from the journalists in attendance. “If that’s the definition of a gay woman then how dare you! Just because someone has a short, bad haircut doesn’t mean she’s gay, it’s just a bad haircut.”

The World Premiere Of Disney-Pixar's "Finding Dory"Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

She added that she didn’t know if the two women in the film were actually a lesbian couple but offered, “I think if you see the movie several times, which I recommend, if you see it four or five times, there are some gay fish in the background that you’ll notice. A lot of them look very gay to me and it’s not obvious until you’ve seen it a few times.”

In following up, AfterEllen asked Ellen what she thought of the fact that a conversation had been started on the presumption of a possible lesbian couple (who, as we saw in a screening Wednesday night, are only on-screen slightly longer than they are seen in the trailer) in the film.

“I personally think it’s a great thing,” Ellen said. “Everything that we see in the media, whether it’s television or film or anything we see, should represent everything that’s happening in the world. I think everybody that’s in the world should be seen and represented so, yes, it’s a great conversation. If they intended it to be a woman with a bad short haircut being gay or not, I think it’s a great thing.”

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Finding Dory co-director Andrew Stanton did say that while he leaves it up to interpretation as to what people make of the two women seen in the trailer and film, the film is overall is about a character who accepts who she is.

“I always knew that the film was going to be about her accepting herself, that it was going to be under the tent of self-acceptance,” Andrew said. “The premise I ultimately came with is you’re not at peace until you can truly accept who you are. I think that [Dory] was always going to be unsettled until she experienced what it was like to succeed on her own completely.”

“We laugh because our honest answer is maybe,” producer Lindsay Collins said. “Honestly, we basically populate our world the way we see our world and we don’t sit there and ask everybody’s background when we put them in our movies. If it was a main character, I think we would know the answer to that question. It’s not. It’s just a part of the world and part of the world we see.”

With a sequel coming 13 years after the original, Ellen is ready to take some credit for Finding Dory finally making it to the big screen.

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“I am responsible for every penny that this film makes because this film would not happen had I not campaigned as hard as I campaigned,” Ellen said. She also clarified that she never campaigned for a Dory sequel to be made. “I was just campaigning for a sequel to a great movie and then when it didn’t happen for the first, oh, five or six years, I decided to just joke of it.”

Ellen said she strives to have the same strengths as her cartoon alter-ego.

“I would love to have every trait of Dory’s,” she said. “I try to have as many traits as she has as far as optimism and perseverance and non-judgement and not having any resentment or holding onto anger or she doesn’t feel like a victim. .. [Dory] just thinks everything is possible and she never, for a second, thinks that anything’s wrong anybody else or herself,” Ellen said. “She just keeps swimming and I think that’s a great thing. I would like to have all of those traits.”

Finding Dory hits theaters June 17th.

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