Ellen DeGeneres is still making headlines three days after she was photographed sitting with former President George W. Bush at the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday. After the photo enraged some of DeGeneres' fans, who felt she should not be so friendly with the conservative politician, the comedian acknowledged the controversy during her monologue on Tuesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, explaining that she is friends with Bush and wishes people would accept that she has friends who hold different beliefs than her.
While many of DeGeneres' critics still aren't on board with her spending time with Bush, who was elected president on an anti-same sex marriage platform, her message has rung true with many others. In fact, at press time, her tweet from Monday night explaining "the whole story" has nearly 100,000 retweets and over 360,000 likes.
In the video, DeGeneres gave her fans some background on the story. On Sunday, she and her wife Portia de Rossi went to the Cowboys-Packers game in Dallas, Texas, as guests of the Jones family, who own the Cowboys team.
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
"When we were invited, I was aware I was gonna be surrounded by people from very different views and beliefs," DeGeneres explained in her monologue, "and I’m not talking politics. I was rooting for the Packers and — get this — everyone in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the Cowboys."
She continued, sharing the story while inserting light-hearted jokes throughout. Eventually, she acknowledged the controversy.
"During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together, so people were upset. They thought, 'Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?' Didn’t even notice I’m holding the brand new iPhone 11," she said.
"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," DeGeneres went on. "We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that we’re all different... But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them."
She related the issue to her signature sign-off, "Be kind to one another."
"When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter," she said.
Although her message is resonating with many on social media, many others aren't buying it — especially members of the LGBTQ community.0comments
"This Ellen/Bush story isn’t about 'disagreement.' We all have friends who see the world differently," author and activist Marc Lamont Hill tweeted. "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."
"This incident just serves as proof that elites stick together no matter the criminality or monstrosity of each individual," tweeted journalist Walker Bragman. "So for that, [Ellen], I suppose we should thank you. You’re showing us what we can expect to happen a few years after Donald Trump leaves office."