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Ellen Sat Next to Dubya at a Football Game. Then, Backlash

After criticism, DeGeneres explained it's OK to be friends with people who have different beliefs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2019 7:11 AM CDT
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Ellen DeGeneres looks on before the Green Bay Packers play the Dallas Cowboys in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

(Newser) – Celebrity, politics, and sports merged into one headline Monday after a flap over an NFL game that Ellen DeGeneres went to this weekend. The 61-year-old talk show host and her wife, Portia de Rossi, went to the Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game on Sunday as the guest of Charlotte Jones, daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, USA Today reports. The two sat in what DeGeneres called a "fancy" suite at AT&T Stadium, surrounded by other bigwigs—including former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, who sat next to them. Fans spotted DeGeneres and Bush interacting and laughing, and some weren't happy that DeGeneres, a liberal and LGBTQ supporter, was palling around with Bush, whom many critics accused of discriminating against that community, as well as committing war crimes via the war in Iraq. On Monday, DeGeneres confirmed her seat next to No. 43.

"Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend," she posted online, with a video from her show. "Here's the thing," she said in the clip. "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 that we've forgotten that that's OK." She added: "When I say 'Be kind to one another' ... I mean be kind to everyone." DeGeneres' explainer earned her more barbs, and praise. "No, Ellen. So many LGBT people will continue to suffer bc of what this man did. Being nice to him is letting him off the hook," one detractor noted. From a conservative fan, with a #bekind hashtag: "I have A LOT of liberal friends. Not once have I thought to not be friends with them because of our differing beliefs. This is an amazing message that everyone needs to hear and be reminded of!" (Read more Ellen DeGeneres stories.)

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