Ellen DeGeneres's friendship with George W. Bush sparked backlash — and a Democratic debate question — and now Tim Robbins is calling out the talk show host for "making peace" with the former president. The Dark Waters actor spoke to BuzzFeed News’s “AM to DM” on Tuesday and said Bush should be held accountable for his role in the Iraq War.
"Listen, I'm all for going across aisles and making peace with people, but there's certain people that are walking around right now that are responsible for a lot of death," Robbins said. "That is, for me, something [Bush] has never reckoned with, never taken responsibility for."
Robbins added that Bush lives in "an elite bubble" where "you can do whatever the hell you want to in your life [and] pay no ramifications."
DeGeneres joined Bush in a private box at a Dallas Cowboys game in October where the two were photographed laughing together. DeGeneres was joined by wife Portia De Rossi, and many were quick to point out Bush's role in backing a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Others, like actor John Cusack, accused her of "normalizing a mass" murderer, referencing the Iraq War.
"I work with people in prison that have done a lot less than that [who] are spending years and years, if not their entire lives in prison for offenses. And they're paying for it. They know what they've done, and they've accepted responsibility for it," Robbins continued. "Meanwhile, you have people going to football games and everything's fine, and oh, isn't it cute? No, it's not cute."
DeGeneres defended her friendship with Bush on her daytime talk show, explaining she was a guest of Charlotte Jones, the daughter of the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. She said there were "100,000 people in the stadium" watching the game, and "they showed a shot of me and George laughing together — and so people were upset."
She continued, "They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president... But a lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they’re mad — they tweet."
"Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush," she continued. "In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different. For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur. And I’m friends with people who are furry, as a matter of fact. I have friends who should tweeze more."
DeGeneres concluded, "But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter [who]."
Celebrities on both sides of the aisle applauded DeGeneres, including Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon, Lara Trump, Blake Shelton and Dean Cain. But Mark Ruffalo, who co-stars in Dark Waters with Robbins, wasn’t having it, saying, "Until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War... we can’t even begin to talk about kindness."
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