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Ellen and Dubya: Is She the New Mr. Rogers?

Not even celebrities can agree on a response to DeGeneres-Bush controversy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2019 11:47 AM CDT
In this Jan. 18, 2017 photo, Ellen DeGeneres, winner of the awards for favorite animated movie voice, favorite daytime TV host, and favorite comedic collaboration, speaks at the People's Choice Awards...   (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Ellen DeGeneres' explanation of her controversial friendship with George W. Bush is garnering both praise and criticism. Even among the celebrity set there's disagreement over whether she's to be praised or roasted for her declaration that, "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." Some of the reactions:

  • Fox News reports that both Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Bell supported DeGeneres on social media, but both received backlash for that support and Witherspoon appears to have since deleted her tweet, which thanked DeGeneres for "the important reminder." Bell's Instagram post, which is currently still online, referred to DeGeneres as her queen. While some comments were supportive, many were not. Sample: "Oof. Nope. Differing opinions is one thing. An opinion that intentionally oppresses or harms another life? NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. You’re better than this."
  • Among the celebrities slamming DeGeneres was Susan Sarandon, who tweeted a link to a column from Out pointing out that "it’s not about what Bush thinks. That’s not the issue—it’s about what he did over and over again while he was in office and who those policies harmed."
  • Also Mark Ruffalo: "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," he tweeted. He also linked to a column, this one a Vanity Fair piece noting there are limits to DeGeneres' brand of "unconditional kindness."

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