Singer-songwriter Elton John is coming to the defense of Ellen DeGeneres and former President George W. Bush after the two were torn apart by critics for sitting next to each other at a football game.
As IJR previously reported, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” host found herself, joining Charlotte Jones, in Jerry Jones’ stadium suite sitting next to Bush and his wife Laura Bush at a Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers game on October 6.
The two sitting next to each other sparked backlash on social media. However, Degeneres came to the defense of her controversial friendship with Bush.
“During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together. And so people were upset,” DeGeneres explained, adding, “They thought, why is a gay, Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?”
“Here’s the thing: 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 we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different. […] Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. 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.”
In case you missed it:
Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend. Here’s the whole story. pic.twitter.com/AYiwY5gTIS
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 8, 2019
John agrees with DeGeneres’ view of the situation, as he told NPR, “I admire Ellen for standing up and saying what she said.”
“Unfortunately, what our democracy has become now is that it’s not OK to have different opinions from yours and that is not healthy. George Bush has made a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. Ellen DeGeneres has made a lot of mistakes. […] Yes, there were [bad] decisions that he’s made, but that was made by Democratic presidents and Republican presidents.”
“People need to come together,” he said. “They need to respect people’s view on life. Except when it’s heresy, and I don’t think George Bush is that kind of guy.”
Listen to John’s interview below:
Following DeGeneres’ defense of the football stadium moment, a spokesperson for Bush told Fox News, “President and Mrs. Bush really enjoyed being with Ellen and Portia (de Rossi) and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another. They respect her.”