Elton John is the latest celebrity to speak out in favor of Ellen DeGeneres’ controversial friendship with President George W. Bush. While speaking with NPR to promote his new autobiography, Me, John made it clear that he supports DeGeneres, who was forced to defend herself last week after being spotted at a Dallas Cowboys game with 43rd president.
“Unfortunately, what our democracy has become now is that it’s not okay to have different opinions than yours and that is not healthy,” he told NPR. “I admire Ellen for standing up and saying what she said. George Bush has made a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. Ellen DeGeneres has made a lot of mistakes. People need to come together […] They need to respect people’s view on life. Except when it’s heresy, and I don’t think George Bush is that kind of guy.”
This story has sparked emotional responses every step of the way, and John’s comments on the topic were no different. Twitter erupted after his interview became public. “MISTAKES?,” one person tweeted. “He was responsible for the deaths and torturing of hundreds of THOUSANDS of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan not to mention 4,200 US troops in Iraq. ‘Mistakes’. With all due respect Sir Elton John, you're just as tone-deaf as Ellen is right now.”
“Stop framing the friendship between DeGeneres and Bush as a question of tolerance and forgiveness,” another wrote. “Bush committed war crimes that enable the West to dominate and rob the rest. Thus [Ellen DeGeneres] and Elton John profit from the crimes. It is aiding and abetting, not tolerance."
“Dear [Elton John] & [Ellen DeGeneres]. WE DONT MAKE FRIENDS WITH NAZI WAR CRIMINALS WHO BELIEVE IN TORTURE AND HATE GAY PEOPLE! PERIOD!,” a third replied. “Sorry Sir Elton, being buddies with a war criminal NOT OK,” a fourth user said.
Not everyone was angry at John for supporting DeGeneres, however. “KUDOS to Elton John for his common sense! I'm a pretty [Conservative] [Republican], BUT I have dear friends that are [Liberal] [Democrats] … SO WE DON'T DISCUSS [Politics],” one person tweeted. “We need more of this [America]!! [America United] [acceptance],” another wrote.
Last week, DeGeneres defended her friendship with Bush in front of her studio audience. “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 that we’ve forgotten that we’re all different,” she explained.
“For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur and I’m friends with people who are furry, as a matter of fact. But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them,” she continued. “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."