If you’ve been living under a rock (or simply staying off social media), you may or may not have heard about the controversy surrounding Ellen DeGeneres and former U.S. President George W. Bush. The pair are friends and were pictured this week attending a Dallas Cowboys football match together in Texas, something that made many people angry, including Mark Ruffalo.
The problem is this: DeGeneres is a liberal lesbian woman who’s spoken out many times against Bush’s divisive opinions and policies over the years. Given that he seems to believe—and wants legislation to cement those beliefs—in many things DeGeneres is against, there’s zero way they can be friends, right? Wrong.
I'm the guy at The Ellen DeGeneres Show responsible for searching twitter for a positive tweet about the George W. Bush thing, then removing HAHAHA from the start and using MS Paint to shift the first line of text to the left so it aligns properly. AMA pic.twitter.com/Pqm9sr7DMe— Lafargue (@Lafargue) October 8, 2019
When confronted with her hypocrisy, DeGeneres addressed the issue by insisting that Bush is her “friend” and that when she advocates kindness towards others, she doesn’t just mean towards the people who believe the same things you do.
“We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that it’s OK that we’re all different,” she said.
“For instance, I wish that people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, and I wish that they didn’t, but I’m friends with people who wear fur. And I’m friends with people who are furries — friends who should tweeze more. But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything, it doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna be friends with them.”
Laura & George Bush sitting with Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi is not something I expected to see at an NFL game pic.twitter.com/AbWbhXd3RC— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) October 6, 2019
This monologue, delivered at the beginning of an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, assuaged many of the doubters but certainly not all, as it seems like a bit of a cop-out, especially since no one ever changed reductive and discriminatory policies and beliefs by being nice.
I too am friends with war criminals. No big deal!— Prophet Victor Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) October 8, 2019
I can’t get over this. Celebs are insane. pic.twitter.com/wKe2d00LzW— Bustopher Walken (@Douchetoevsky) October 8, 2019
Social media tore DeGeneres a new one over her friendship with Bush, but while celebrities like Kristen Bell and Reese Witherspoon came to her defense, Mark Ruffalo was having none of it.
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. https://t.co/dpMwfck6su— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 9, 2019
“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 wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
His decision to speak out against DeGeneres despite what seems like the rest of Hollywood rallying around her says a lot about Ruffalo’s character and earned him plenty of praise from other Twitter users who applauded his directness.
Appreciate your steadfast integrity, thanks man— Cameron (@doubleohcam) October 9, 2019
DeGeneres hasn’t responded to Ruffalo’s comments or even said anything else about Bush. Something tells me she’ll be wanting to protect her image as America’s funniest and least threatening white lesbian comedian, so she’ll probably want to brush this under the carpet as quickly as possible.