Why People Are Mad At Ellen DeGeneres For Befriending George W. Bush

Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres are known for being friends with almost everyone. But the talk-show host and comedian is also recognized as very liberal. So what was she doing hanging out with Republican President George W. Bush?

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres | George Pimentel/Getty Images for TINEPARK

That’s right — DeGeneres was spotted at a Dallas Cowboys game this past weekend with her wife, Portia de Rossi. And who was seated next to her? Bush and his wife, Laura, with whom DeGeneres was photographed sharing a laugh or two. That doesn’t mean much, but there’s more to the story. Read on to learn more.

What Ellen said on her show

DeGeneres addressed the incident on her show. She said that because she was invited by Charlotte Jones, whose father, Jerry, own the Dallas Cowboys, she “was aware that [she[ was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs.” She continued, saying that “people were upset” to see her sitting next to Bush.

“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. we’re all different and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK,” DeGeneres said. “When I say ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do.” The audience responded positively to her message.

She had a lot of supporters

Plenty of people agreed with her message. Specifically, a lot of celebrities. Everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Orlando Bloom wrote kind replies back to DeGeneres when she shared the above video on her Instagram.

Jennifer Garner wrote simply, “Ellen! You are amazing!” Jamie Foxx replied, “Thank uuu very much for that!!!!! Soooo needed and Necessary.” Meanwhile, Snooki and Kylie Jenner responded with celebratory emojis rather than words.

But many others called her out

But while most celebrities seemed to take DeGeneres’ side, others pointed out that her place of privilege doesn’t allow her to see the real issue. Director Lexi Alexander shared a tweet with all of the celebrity replies. And comedian Carmen Esposito made her own video in which she dons the same clothes as DeGeneres and simply explains why you don’t have to be nice to everyone.

In Esposito’s video, she specifically refers to Bush’s previous stance on gay marriage and other rights (Esposito, like DeGeneres, is part of the LGBTQ+ community). But there are plenty of other reasons that many were upset with Ellen’s stance.

The Hulk wasn’t pleased

Then there’s Mark Ruffalo. The Marvel superstar frequently uses his platform for good, and even occasionally will call out his fellow A-listers when they’re misguided. After Vanity Fair wrote about Ellen being “out of touch” with her message, he retweeted the article, adding:

“Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars—emotional & otherwise—inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can’t even begin to talk about kindness,” he wrote.