Laura & George Bush sitting with Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi is not something I expected to see at an NFL game pic.twitter.com/AbWbhXd3RC— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) October 6, 2019
While some thought nothing of the pairing, others pointed to the irony of DeGeneres being friendly with Bush due to his policies and politics—particularly his anti-LGTBQ stance. Ellen, who is lesbian, married her wife Portia de Rossi in 2008. Bush previously called for making gay marriage unconstitutional in 2004. "The union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith," Bush said at the time.
Ellen DeGeneres laughing it up with someone who has actively tried to harm our community feels disappointing, irresponsible, and dangerous. https://t.co/tgGfmCGQ5A— Out Magazine (@outmagazine) October 7, 2019
On Tuesday, DeGeneres posted a video explaining her thoughts on it all. "Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend," DeGeneres wrote on Twitter. "Here’s the whole story."
DeGeneres said she and de Rossi were invited to the game by Charlotte Jones.
"People were upset, they thought why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president," DeGeneres 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. We're all different and I think we've forgotten that that's OK that we're all different. For instance, I wish people wouldn't wear fur. I don't like it, but I'm friends with people who wear fur. I'm friends with people who are furry, as a matter of a fact." 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. 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. Doesn't matter."
Although some applauded the talk show host for her views on the matter, others maintained their criticism of DeGeneres for associating with Bush.
"Political views" and condoning torture are two different things I think.— Casey Spivey (@caseyspivey) October 8, 2019
Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq because of that man. He tortured people. He lied to the American people to start that war.https://t.co/KRyJb8SLEA
Beautifully crafted message to all Americans. Thank you.— Jorj X McKie (@jjs92285) October 8, 2019
No, Ellen. So many LGBT people will continue to suffer bc of what this man did. Being nice to him is letting him off the hook.— kristy (@kristysf) October 8, 2019