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Ellen DeGeneres has responded to the pointed social media criticism she has faced after sitting next to former President George Bush at Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game.
Pictures and video of DeGeneres and her partner, Portia de Rossi, enjoying the company of Bush and his wife, Laura, at the game at Cowboys’ Stadium caused a wave of criticism on Twitter. Users brought up Bush’s conservative politics that were anti-LGBTQ as well as the countless deaths from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that happened during his term, and many felt the Ellen host was helping to rehabilitate his image.
DeGeneres addressed her attendance of the game as well as the social media backlash on a taping of Ellen, which airs Tuesday. She said she was invited to the game by Charlotte Jones, daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, joking that she and de Rossi attended as they “wanted to keep up with the Joneses.” The comedienne then got more serious saying that “when we were invited I knew that we would be surrounded by people of very different views and beliefs.”
— John Gnann (@kdfw07) October 6, 2019
Speaking about the backlash, DeGeneres said that “people were upset: ‘Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative president?’ A lot of people were mad.” But she pivoted by putting up one positive tweet which said, “Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.” Building on the theme of that tweet, DeGeneres added: “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 are all different and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different.”
Trying to illustrate her point, she said that even though she thought people should not wear fur, she was still friends with people who wore fur.
She concluded the segment but saying, “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything does not mean 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 as you do, I mean be kind to everyone.”
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