Ellen DeGeneres Faces Hollywood Backlash Over George Bush Friendship From Mark Ruffalo and Others

Ellen DeGeneres' defense of her friendship with former president George W. Bush has earned her a strong rebuke from some of her Hollywood compatriots, including Avengers: Endgame star Mark Ruffalo.

DeGeneres spoke out on her talk show Ellen earlier this week, responding to people politicizing her, a "gay Hollywood liberal," sitting next to Bush, the controversial former Republican president, at an NFL game Sunday.

"I'm friends with George Bush," DeGeneres said on Tuesday. "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."

The talk show host concluded with a message to her audience and viewers to "be kind to everyone."

DeGeneres' defense didn't sit well with some people in Hollywood, specifically Ruffalo, who has previously been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump's administration and climate change.

The Incredible Hulk actor said "we can't even begin to talk about kindness" until Bush, the president who led the U.S. into the Iraq War in 2003, was held to account for "the crimes" that were committed as a result of the U.S. invasion.

Ruffalo tweeted Wednesday: "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's message was retweeted almost 65,000 times and liked by nearly 285,000 Twitter users. In response to his tweet, many people praised the actor for speaking out against Bush's actions and for being a rare voice in Hollywood to criticize DeGeneres.

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon also criticized DeGeneres, quoting an Out magazine article that accused DeGeneres of "framing 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."

Previously, DeGeneres' defense of her friendship with Bush and message of kindness had been supported by the likes of Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell and Taye Diggs.

But by Wednesday, the tide had turned.

Actor-and-activist Rose McGowan, one of the most prominent voices in the #MeToo movement, called DeGeneres a "fake toady" in a tweet posted early Thursday morning.

Actor Nyle DiMarco, who is deaf, tweeted on Thursday: "hi my annual hearing test came in ... i went from profoundly deaf to being able to hear bulls***"

Ellen DeGeneres Faces Hollywood Backlash Over George Bush Friendship From Mark Ruffalo and Others | Culture