Who knew being friends with someone can generate so much social media backlash? That’s what happened to talk show host Ellen Degeneres when she was spotted hanging out with former US president George W. Bush and his wife while watching the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers football game on Sunday.
As the pair was seen on camera sitting next to each other and being cheery, people on social media were upset, with some calling the comedian a hypocrite. These reactions stemmed from the fact that Ellen is a gay liberal while Bush is a conservative Republican president who is against gay marriage. So how are these two celebrities with different views friends with each other?
The 61-year-old producer took to The Ellen Show and Twitter to explain why she’s friends with George W. Bush.
On her show, Degeneres addressed the criticisms she received on Twitter just for being spotted with Bush, saying she was just being kind. She pointed out that people with differences can still find common ground and have respect for each other.
In her 4-minute speech, she told her audience:
“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.”
Degeneres, also a former vegan, noted that she is anti-fur but still has friends with people who do wear them. In conclusion, she said:
“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 mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean, ‘Be kind to everyone, it doesn’t matter.’”
Degeneres’ monologue on kindness drew mixed reactions from celebrities.
Ellen’s remarks generated both positive and negative reactions from celebrities. Reese Witherspoon and Frozen’s Kristen Bell applauded her for her statement, taking to Twitter to praise her.
On the other hand, Mark Ruffalo wasn’t too happy with how Ellen seemingly have forgotten about the issues surrounding the Bush administration. People who were upset also noted that Ellen being kind to Bush is disrespectful toward the lives lost (U.S. military and Afghan, Pakistani, and Iraqi civilians) during the Bush Administration’s war on terror.
What do you think?
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