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Ellen DeGeneres Honoured By Barack Obama For LGBT ‘Courage’, Celebrates With Incredible Mannequin Challenge

'It’s easy to forget just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages.'

23/11/2016 11:25 | Updated 23 November 2016

Ellen DeGeneres has received America’s highest civilian honour from Barack Obama for her influence on the gay rights movement.

The comedian, actress and chat show host was praised by the President, who said her bravery helped “push our country in the direction of justice.”

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U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres

Awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Obama said: “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.

“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.”

Alex Wong via Getty Images

The award, which recognises contributions to United States culture, security and international interests, is the highest honour a civilian can receive, alongside the Congressional Gold Medal, a similar accolade awarded by the US Congress.

Other celebrities to be honoured included Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan and Robert Redford.

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Robert DeNiro embraces Ellen

“These are folks who have helped make me who I am,’’ Obama added.

“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine.”

Before the ceremony, Ellen tweeted that she couldn’t get into the White House as she’d forgotten her ID.

“They haven’t let me into the White House yet because I forgot my ID,” she tweeted.

However, she eventually made it inside and celebrated by taking advantage of the many stars she was rubbing shoulders with to film a rather special mannequin challenge, which she also shared on Twitter...

Nice work, Ellen.

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