A photo of Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to former President George W. Bush at Sunday’s NFL game between the Packers and the Cowboys surfaced over the weekend. And a slice of social media lost its collective mind.
Some Twitter users vehemently criticized her for sharing the Republican’s company, calling him a “war criminal.” But DeGeneres was not having it.
“Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush,” she told her studio audience Monday at a taping for Tuesday’s “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “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 we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different,” she continued.
“Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” DeGeneres said. “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. It doesn’t matter.”
In a statement to USA TODAY on Tuesday, a spokesman for George W. Bush added, "President and Mrs. (Laura) Bush really enjoyed being with Ellen and Portia (de Rossi) and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another. They respect her."