Home News Politics ‘I’m friends with George Bush’: Ellen DeGeneres defends watching football with former...

‘I’m friends with George Bush’: Ellen DeGeneres defends watching football with former GOP president

A couple of minutes into the second quarter of Sunday’s sport between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers, TV cameras at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, minimize to proprietor Jerry Jones’ unique suite. Many viewers have been perplexed by what they noticed.

“Is my vision screwed up?” one individual requested.

Clinton Yates, a columnist with ESPN’s The Undefeated, tweeted that the sight “definitely qualified as a Sunday shocker.”

Sitting side-by-side in black padded seats with prime views of the cavernous stadium have been former Republican president George W. Bush and liberal tv host Ellen DeGeneres, an outspoken LGBT activist. The pair was joined by their spouses, former first girl Laura Bush and Australian actress and mannequin Portia de Rossi. At one level, DeGeneres and Bush have been caught on digital camera sharing fun.

But it wasn’t lengthy earlier than confusion remodeled into outrage as detractors slammed DeGeneres over showing to share pleasant exchanges with a president who began the Iraq War, and as soon as endorsed a constitutional modification towards same-sex marriage. Some famous that Bush additionally lobbied for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who confronted a number of sexual misconduct allegations final 12 months forward of his affirmation. (Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.)

The intense outcry prompted DeGeneres to take time tackle her relationship with Bush on her present. In a joke-filled monologue scheduled to air Tuesday, DeGeneres defended her interactions with the previous president and urged individuals to “be kind to everyone.” Bush was a visitor on DeGeneres’s present in 2017.

“During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together and so people were upset,” the host stated in an advance clip shared to social media late Monday. “They thought, ‘Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?’”

She later added: “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.”

By early Tuesday, the roughly four-minute video had been watched greater than 2 million instances throughout Twitter and YouTube.

While some applauded DeGeneres for placing apart her political variations, critics argued that the phase illustrated her privilege, sparking a contemporary spherical of backlash Monday night time.

In the clip, DeGeneres defined that she and de Rossi have been invited by Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, who can also be a Cowboys govt. One of Anderson’s unofficial duties is working together with her mom, Gene Jones, to determine which visitors will be part of them within the coveted seats on the 50-yard-line, the New York Times reported in 2015.

According to the Times, the objective is to fill the field with a “diverse crowd.” And for Gene Jones, the “task that concerns and vexes her like no other” is the seating chart.

“As if hosting a dinner party, she sketches out a schematic in pencil, always mindful of guests’ interests and personalities, and then solicits thoughts from her daughter up until their guests arrive,” the Times wrote, noting that the Bushes and relations are among the many choose few with standing invites.

“We went because we wanted to keep up with the Joneses,” DeGeneres quipped within the phase. “His suite is fancy and he’s got fancy friends. I don’t mean fancy like ‘Real Housewives’ fancy, I mean like fancy.”

The daytime tv host then performed a video she shot from her seat that captured Bush making a humorous face and laughing, drawing loud cheers from her studio viewers.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s sport, nevertheless, the sight of DeGeneres and Bush collectively sparked a distinct response on-line. The two appeared subsequent to one another on Fox’s sport broadcast a number of instances, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

“I don’t care how nice of a guy George W Bush is,” Vox journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted. “He was one of our worst presidents and left our country and world in bad shape. . . . This is a bad look for @TheEllenShow.”

The Advocate and Out Magazine, each LGBT information organizations, printed articles Monday that highlighted Bush’s push in 2004 for a constitutional modification that might have prohibited marriage equality. Several critics identified that the modification was a wedge problem within the then-president’s reelection marketing campaign, contrasting his stance with DeGeneres’ activism.

“As one of America’s most visible (and powerful) queer celebrities, Ellen pal’ing around with those who have actively tried to harm us feels disappointing, irresponsible, and dangerous,” Out Magazine wrote.

Some have been angered that DeGeneres would spend time with the architect of the Iraq War, which The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman known as “the worst foreign policy disaster in American history.” It is estimated that tens of 1000’s have been killed combating, together with 5,000 U.S. service members, The Post’s Philip Bump reported. A a lot increased variety of civilians died throughout the ensuing years of battle and an actual dying toll stays unclear.

Actor John Cusack tweeted to recommend DeGeneres was “normalizing mass murderers.”

In the phase for her present, DeGeneres didn’t tackle any particular criticisms, solely saying that “a lot of people were mad and they did what people do when they’re mad, they tweet.”

The host did level to a tweet she stated she liked, which learn partially, “Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.”

DeGeneres additionally defended being variety to individuals no matter their views. “For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur,” she stated. “I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur.”

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.”

DeGeneres’ clarification drew a flurry of combined reactions Monday night time.

Supporters praised her “beautifully crafted message” and insisted she didn’t want to supply a protection.

“You shouldn’t have to apologize for sitting next to anyone as a guest in a suite,” one individual tweeted. “But you did a great job descalating the ‘all or nothing’ approach of todays fringe (on both sides). America is diverse and all people deserve kindness and respect.”

But others remained unswayed, persevering with to echo criticisms that DeGeneres and Bush’s Sunday afternoon represented “class solidarity,” as one person put it.

“Sounds about white,” one individual wrote in response to the video.

Another tweeted: “‘Look, I’m too rich for his decisions to really affect me.’ Is what this boils down to.”

Several individuals asserted that Bush’s historical past amounted to greater than only a distinction of opinion.

“Disagreeing with friends that wear fur is not the same as being friends with an anti-gay war criminal President that directly and negatively impacted millions of lives,” one individual tweeted.

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