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Celebrities split over Ellen DeGeneres’s remarks about George W. Bush

A number of celebrities are split over Ellen DeGeneres’s defense of her friendship with former President George W. Bush, days after a photo of the two seated next to each other at an NFL game this past weekend went viral.

DeGeneres and Bush stoked controversy on Twitter over the weekend after footage emerged of the pair and their spouses seated together at the Dallas Cowboys’ matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

After getting some heat over the sighting, the “Ellen” host dedicated her opening monologue on her show Tuesday to address the matter.

“Here’s the thing,” the 61-year-old said during the broadcast. “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,” DeGeneres said, while also adding, “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not going to be friends with them.” 

“When I say ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people who think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone, it doesn’t matter,” DeGeneres added.

Her response drew mixed reactions from celebrities online.

Reese Witherspoon praised DeGeneres’s response in a tweet on Tuesday, saying: “Thank you for this important reminder, Ellen! ‘I have friends who don’t think the same things that i do. When I say be kind to one another , I don’t mean be kind to the people who think the same way you do . I mean ..Be Kind to Everyone.’”

Witherspoon’s tweet appears to have since been deleted after it became the subject of much criticism on Twitter.

Kristen Bell even put a side-by-side split of both DeGeneres and Bush’s photos together on Instagram with the caption: “She’s my [queen!]”

View this post on Instagram

Shes my @theellenshow

A post shared by kristen bell (@kristenanniebell) on

However, Mark Ruffalo took issue with the comedian’s response to the ongoing controversy in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon.

“Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars—emotional & otherwise—inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can’t even begin to talk about kindness,” Ruffalo said in the post. 

His message also featured a link to a Vanity Fair column, titled “Ellen DeGeneres, George W. Bush, and the Limits of Unconditional Kindness.” 

DeGeneres’s comments also appeared to ruffle some feathers with Susan Sarandon, who tweeted a quote from commentary about her remarks published by Out magazine on Tuesday.

“But missing the point entirely, DeGeneres framed the issue as simply a matter of her hanging out with someone with different opinions, not a man repeatedly accused of being a war criminal,” the quote read. 

Despite some of the backlash generated by Bush and DeGeneres’s sighting together at the Sunday game, a spokesman for Bush said he and the former first lady “really enjoyed being with Ellen and Portia [de Rossi] and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another.” 

“They respect her,” the spokesman added in a statement to Fox News.

Tags Ellen DeGeneres George W. Bush George W. Bush Kristen Bell Mark Ruffalo Reese Witherspoon Susan Sarandon The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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