- On Sunday, Ellen DeGeneres was spotted hanging out with former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game.
- Fans of Ellen were upset about it.
- Given the backlash, Ellen felt the need to explain why she’s friends with him.
You know her, you love her, you laugh with her: She’s Ellen DeGeneres, hilariously funny talk show host who has made people laugh since, oh I don't know, the dawn of time!
But because Ellen is a human just like you and me, at times, people can perceive certain behaviors of hers as problematic. Allow me to explain.
Ellen and her wife, Portia de Rossi, were invited to Sunday’s NFL football game, which featured the Dallas Cowboys playing against the Green Bay Packers. (Spoiler alert: The Packers won.) But while Ellen was enjoying the game, she sat right next to George W. Bush, America’s 43rd president (who was opposed to gay rights during his presidency).
So naturally, people were not happy.
Ellen Degeneres to George Bush: pic.twitter.com/gcNOwwSP18— Angry Druid Energy (@RealDorianDawes) October 8, 2019
This Ellen/Bush story isn’t about “disagreement.” We all have friends who see the world differently. George W. Bush fought against marriage equality, put us into unjust wars, and destabilized whole countries. To frame this as a “difference of opinion” is dishonest.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) October 8, 2019
My favorite thing about this Ellen controversy is her defenders are yelling “just because she sat beside him doesn’t mean they are friends” when she got on national television and explicitly said “we’re friends.”— season of the witch (@MikelleStreet) October 8, 2019
Srsly. Fuck that and fuck Ellen DeGeneres and fuck George Bush and fuck the whole fucking planet into the middle of the sun.— Shitemare on Elm Street (@misslucyp) October 8, 2019
literally wake up and see trisha paytas disrespecting the trans community and ellen degeneres sitting arm to arm and laughing with homophobic george bush pic.twitter.com/TDWAEGsKUo— T Y L E R 🍂 (@tweaver98) October 8, 2019
Given the amount of backlash Ellen received online, she found it necessary to explain the encounter with former President Bush and devoted a four-minute segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to breaking it all down in detail.
Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend. Here’s the whole story. pic.twitter.com/AYiwY5gTIS— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 8, 2019
Referring to the Twitter backlash, Ellen said, “They thought, Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?” she asked. “A lot of people were mad. And they did what people do when they’re mad...they tweet.”
Then, Ellen made a point to explain why she’s friends with George. “Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” she said. “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.”
So there it is: Ellen might not agree with George’s previous stance on issues that affect the LGBT community, but she isn’t going to let that stop her from forging a connection with him.
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