Ellen DeGeneres Hits Back at Criticism for Sitting With 'Friend' George Bush: 'It's OK That We're Different'

Ellen DeGeneres has defended her decision to sit and laugh with former President George W. Bush at a football game on Sunday after images of the two together sparked anger on social media.

The host of Ellen said people had "forgotten it's OK that we're all different," and refused to avoid being friends with people who had different views to her.

DeGeneres also said her time with Bush at the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game on Sunday was "so fun" and described the former president as a friend in an effort to pour cold water on Twitter outrage.

Several widely-shared comments about DeGeneres' chumminess with Bush focused on the Bush-led invasion of Iraq and the thousands of civilian deaths that resulted.

Speaking to her audience in an Ellen clip shared on Twitter today, DeGeneres said she and her partner Portia de Rossi were invited to watch the Cowboys-Packers game by Charlotte Jones, the daughter of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

"When we were invited, I knew that I was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs," DeGeneres said. "I'm not talking about politics. I was rooting for the Packers, and get this, everybody in the Cowboys' suite was rooting for the Cowboys."

The host went on to joke that she secretly cheered every time the Packers scored and "every time another whistleblower came forward," before addressing the flak she received for sitting next to Bush.

DeGeneres said: "During the game they showed a shot of George and me laughing together. And, so people were upset. They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president? Didn't even notice I'm holding the new iPhone 11.

"But a lot of people were mad and they did what people do when they're mad, they tweet."

She then brought up a tweet on screen from Twitter user Matthew_Oooo, who has 464 followers, that read: "Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again." She applauded the post with her audience.

"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," she said. "We're all different and I think we've forgotten that it's OK that we're all different."

After saying she didn't like wearing fur but was friends with people who wore fur, and joked that she was friends with "people who should tweeze more," DeGeneres added she wouldn't avoid being friends with people because they don't agree on everything.

"When I say be kind to one another, I don't mean only the people that think the same way you do," she said. "I mean be kind to everyone."

Ellen DeGeneres Hits Back at Criticism for Sitting With 'Friend' George Bush: 'It's OK That We're Different' | U.S.