After photos surfaced of her laughing with Bush in Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones’s box, many on social media wondered why DeGeneres, a liberal gay woman, would be friendly with a former president whose record includes calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage and the Iraq War.
DeGeneres addressed the backlash in a clip from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, saying, “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 okay, 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,” DeGeneres continued, joking that she has friends who are “furry” and need to tweeze. “But 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.”
Earlier in the segment, DeGeneres said she was invited to the game by Jones’s daughter, Charlotte. She also showed a video she took herself from the game that featured Bush and his wife Laura, two of Jones’ “fancy friends” that he had invited, smiling and laughing next to her. In reference to the social media response to the photos, DeGeneres said that people “did what people do when they’re mad — they tweet.”
“People were upset. They thought, ‘Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?'” she added. “But here’s one tweet that I loved: this person says, ‘Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.'”