Ellen DeGeneres Defends Friendship With George W. Bush: "We're All Different and That's OK"
"When I say 'be kind to one another,' I don't mean only the people that think the same way that you do."
On Sunday night, Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, attended a Dallas Cowboys game in Texas, where she was seated next to former president George W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, in the match-up against the Green Bay Packers. Many people were surprised to see the former Republican president and outspoken LGBT activist enjoying the game together. Footage of them smiling and chatting drew DeGeneres some criticism on social media, with people pointing out Bush's stance against gay marriage and his war crime conviction.
I would absolutely watch this sitcom though pic.twitter.com/3v3V5Xz01N
— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) October 6, 2019
With her trademark humor and compassion, DeGeneres addressed the backlash during the monologue of an episode of her talk show that aired on Tuesday. "When we were invited, I was aware I was gonna be surrounded by people from very different views and beliefs," she said. "And I'm not talking about politics. I was rooting for the Packers and everybody in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the Cowboys."
But then she got serious and she said she understood the root of why people were so upset. "They thought, 'Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?'" she said. DeGeneres explained that she is, indeed, friends with Bush, because she believes that having opposing opinions on important issues doesn't mean you can't still relate to one another on a human level.
"I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have," she said. "We're all different and I think we've forgotten that that's OK… Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them."
She concluded the monologue with a powerful message on the words she says at the end of every episode: "When I say 'be kind to one another,' I don't mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone."
Video of DeGeneres' monologue is currently going viral on Twitter, and drawing applause from celebrities like Blake Shelton, who retweeted it with the caption, "Amen. Thank you for saying this."
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) October 8, 2019
It's also drawn praise from other Twitter users who believe this is precisely the reminder that we need in today's polarized society.
Ellen Degeneres and George Bush are friends, and that's what it looks like when we respect differences and embrace commonalities.
We need more of that.
— Kelly (@kimtopher22) October 8, 2019
Some are saying it gives them hope.
And ultimately, people are applauding DeGeneres for practicing what she preaches.
— Valerie Dillingham (@smalltownval) October 8, 2019
It's the perfect remind to demonstrate kindness not just in spite of differences, but because of them. And for another story like this one, check out Why This Rare Feel-Good Political Tweet Is Going Mega-Viral.
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