Earlier in the week Ellen Degeneres joined the fight to save one of Australia’s “beautiful, great, wonderful” natural treasures, releasing a video message urging us not to forget a little thing up North called the Great Barrier Reef.
You see, aside from being the largest living structure on the planet it’s also home to countless colourful underwater species, including Ellen’s favourite fish, Dory, and she’d like to us to be doing more to protect it.
For the most part, Australians have welcomed the talk show host’s input, in fact, many of us have been asking for it (see, for example, 11-year-old Sofia in the video below) but not everyone is convinced of her motives are pure and by “not everyone”, I mean Karl Stefanovic.
This morning the Today host criticised the timing of Ellen’s message, claiming she’s just trying to “sell a film”, the soon-to-be released Finding Dory.
“My concern is she’s gotten involved in that around the whole notion of selling a movie anyway, and Disney’s got behind it as one of their linchpins for launching this film,” he said.
He also questioned her decision to call for donations to not-for-profit organisation Greenfleet rather than the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
“The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is, I think, the best at doing work with trying to save the reef – they’re scientific-based and doing wonderful work.”
“On two fronts I think Ellen’s missed the mark… it just doesn’t sit well with me”.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE SAVE ME.
However Disney (and Ellen) are working with The Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as well as Greenfleet as part of their "Remember the Reef" campaign.
According to the very first news item on the Foundation's homepage, Disney will be providing Finding Dory-themed education materials to both educators and consumers "to help raise awareness of the decline of the reef and inspire people to make a difference."
On a more practical front, they're also working with Greenfleet on the ground to restore the coastal wetlands that help counter coral bleaching.
To Karl's credit it's always good to question the motives of big corporations (it's also his job as a journalist) but in this particular instance, whether Ellen is selling a film or not, our Reef could really use all the help it can get.