Ellen DeGeneres Responds to Criticism Over Sitting With George W. Bush

The talk show host reacted to the viral footage of her with the former president.

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 08, 2019 1:24 PMTags

Ellen DeGeneres is practicing what she preaches. 

The famed host always signs off of her daily show asking viewers to be kind to one another. On Monday's show, the star reminded her fans of the message after facing backlash over sitting next to former president George W. Bush at a football game in Texas on Sunday. 

As DeGeneres explained, she and wife Portia de Rossi were invited to the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers game by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' daughter, Charlotte Jones, where they were seated in a suite. "He's got fancy friends and I don't mean fancy like Real Housewife fancy. I mean like fancy," she quipped.  

Among those "fancy" friends were former First Lady Laura Bush and her famous husband, who ended up next to DeGeneres. When cameras captured the two together in the stands, criticism sparked. 

"When we were invited, I was aware I was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs—I'm not talking about politics. I was rooting for the Packers and get this—everybody in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the cowboys. I had to hide my cheese hat in Portia's purse," the comedian joked. "During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together and, 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."

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The image spurred people to tweet—and one caught DeGeneres' eye. 

"Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again," the tweet read. 

"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 that we've forgotten that that's ok that we're all different," she told her audience. "I wish people wouldn't wear fur. I don't like it, but I'm friends with people who wear fur...Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not gonna be friends with them."

The host continued, "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."

As she concluded her heartfelt message, DeGeneres thanked the former commander-in-chief. "Thanks President Bush and Laura for a Sunday afternoon that was so fun…by the way, you owe me $6 for the nachos."