On Sunday night, Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi attended a Dallas Cowboys game in Texas.
However, what should have been a straightforward evening ended up causing a lot of drama thanks to the person Ellen was seated next to.
That person was none other than Mr George W. Bush — divisive figure and former president of the United States of America.
At one point in the game, Ellen could be seen talking and laughing with Bush.
And when the footage hit Twitter, people were not happy.
Some people took issue with Ellen spending time with Bush over his role in the Iraq war which has been criticised over its legitimacy.
Others drew attention to his poor record on LGBT rights.
In fact, some said the timing of Ellen hanging out with Bush couldn’t have been worse, considering the Supreme Court’s impending decision on whether gay and transgender people will be protected from workplace discrimination.
Well, now Ellen has now responded to the criticism, defending herself against those who denounced her online.
Speaking in a monologue on her show, Ellen began by joking that she knew ahead of the football match that she’d be “surrounded by people with very different views and beliefs”.
Ellen went on to address the Twitter outrage, but drew attention to one of the more positive responses she saw.
“But a lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they’re mad — they tweet,” she said. “But there’s one tweet that I love, and this person says: ‘Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.'”
She went on: “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.”
Ellen then said that being friends with Bush was similar to her putting aside her feelings aside to be friends with people who wear fur.
“When I say be kind to one another,” she concluded, “I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”
However, within hours of the video going live, a second wave of criticism hit, with many people calling out Ellen’s defence.
“The Bush era was my first political awakening,” wrote one person. “Things felt terrifying and apocalyptic at the time. I’ve always feared that one day he’d become an innocuous figure … just another ex-president whose awful crimes are glossed over.”
Many people said that this wasn’t about a simple “difference of opinion”.
While others called the logic behind her defence “absurd”.
And called her fur analogy “bullshit”.
Many said that the monologue missed the point of the original outrage entirely.
But some people did jump to Ellen’s defence and said that they agreed with her points.
While others called it a “refreshing response”.
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