Mark Ruffalo weighed in on Ellen DeGeneres' controversial photos with George W. Bush. DeGeneres after the talk show host got some backlash on social media this week when she was spotted smiling and laughing with the former POTUS. She responded with a call for unity, but Ruffalo, at least, disagreed.
DeGeneres got backlash for several different reasons after her photo op with the former president. Many recalled that Bush was an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ rights, campaigning on a promise to enact a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Others — including Ruffalo — remembered Bush as the president who sent the U.S. to war in Iraq, and the atrocities that took place there.
"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," Ruffalo tweeted.
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. https://t.co/dpMwfck6su— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 9, 2019
The actor added the note to a tweet from Vanity Fair, linking to an op-ed titled "Ellen DeGeneres, George W. Bush and the Limits of Unconditional Kindness." In it, journalist Laura Bradley argued DeGeneres had pushed those limits more than once this year. She also wrote that DeGeneres was "aid[ing] Bush's postpresidency rebrand," and that she is not the only celebrity to do so.
Ruffalo, at least, is not among them. On Twitter, he racked up thousands of likes and retweets, as well as replies from fans who felt the same way.
"Appreciate your steadfast integrity, thanks man," one fan tweeted.
"Perfectly put, Mark!" added another. "I don't think anyone could've said it better."
DeGeneres herself has not commented on the controversy since her initial statement on Tuesday. In her monologue on her daytime show, DeGeneres tried to explain her friendship with Bush while lacing jokes throughout.
"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 quipped. "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."
"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 finished.