Ellen DeGeneres responds to criticism over sitting with ‘friend’ George W. Bush at football match

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Ellen DeGeneres has responded to the backlash over her football game hang out with George W. Bush.

A day after the Ellen DeGeneres Show host was seen chatting and laughing with the former president — and his wife, Laura Bush — at a Dallas Cowboys football game, she addressed online critics taking issue with the fact that she would be acting friendly toward someone with differing political views.

DeGeneres explained that she and her wife, Portia de Rossi, were guests of Charlotte Jones, the daughter of the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. And while there were “100,000 people in the stadium” for the game, “they showed a shot of me and George laughing together — and so people were upset.”

She continued, “They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president... But a lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they’re mad — they tweet.”

Instead of sharing a negative tweet, DeGeneres picked a nice one, which said, “Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.”

As the audience clapped, DeGeneres said, “Exactly. Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush,” who has appeared on her talk show. “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.”

Ellen DeGeneres, left, and her wife Portia de Rossi sit in the Royal Box on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Saturday, July 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

She went on to say, “For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur. And I’m friends with people who are furry, as a matter of fact. I have friends who should tweeze more,” she quipped.

DeGeneres wrapped up by saying, “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 only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter [who].”

George Walker Bush, 43rd President of the United States (2001-2009) and 46th Governor of Texas (1995-2000). (Photo by: Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

She thanked Jerry and Charlotte Jones for hosting them as well as the Bushes “for a Sunday afternoon that was so fun,” adding, “By the way, you owe me $6 for the nachos.”