Social media pundits are divided after Ellen DeGeneres appeared at an NFL game with former president George W Bush. DeGeneres attended the Dallas Cowboys game over the weekend with her wife, Portia de Rossi, and was shown sitting next to Bush and his wife, Laura.
DeGeneres’ choice of company caused head-scratching online, with the conservative former president seeming an unlikely compadre for the progressive, gay presenter. Others, however, rushed to her defence.
The talk show host took to Twitter on Monday to explain, uploading a four-minute-long video.
“Portia and I were invited by Charlotte Jones. She’s the daughter of Jerry Jones who owns the Dallas Cowboys,” she said.
“We get to sit in this very fancy suite, because, you know, he owns the whole place. So his suite is — it’s fancy. And he’s got fancy friends”.
It appears that George W Bush is one of those friends.
Agreeing to disagree
Some were quick to lash out at DeGeneres on social media. Punters pointed to Bush’s conservative ideologies and his divisive time in office.
DeGeneres, who interviewed Bush on her show in 2017, swiftly rebuffed these concerns.
“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.
“Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything, doesn’t mean I’m not going to be friends with them.”
Indeed, it’s this kind of congenial attitude that has allowed Ellen DeGeneres to win the hearts and minds of viewers throughout her career.
Still, some have found Ellen’s defence difficult to swallow.
A statement from Bush’s representatives stated that the former president did not realise how upset the appearance had made some viewers. The rep told TMZ that the former president “fully supports what (DeGeneres) had to say about it, especially on being kind to folks with views that are different than your own.”