- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres defended herself Tuesday against criticism when a photo showed her sitting next to former President George W. Bush.

After a photo went viral Sunday showing the two sitting next to each other during Sunday’s football game between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys, Ms. DeGeneres — who is lesbian — responded to criticism that it was “pathetic” for her to sit next to someone who “worked against the LGBT community.”

“During the game, they showed a shot of me and George laughing together. And so, people were upset,” Ms. DeGeneres told the audience of her show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “They thought, ‘Why is this 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 that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK,” she said.

“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. Doesn’t matter,” Ms. DeGeneres added.

She discussed how the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, invited her and her wife — “Arrested Development” actress Portia La Rossi — to the “fancy” VIP area of the team’s stadium, and they accepted the invite because they “wanted to keep up with the Joneses.”

Ms. DeGeneres said she knew this “very fancy suite” with “fancy friends” would be filled with people who disagree with her on her beliefs, but she said they still had “so much fun.”

“When we were invited, I was aware that I was going to be surrounded by people with very different views and beliefs. And I’m not talking about politics. I was rooting for the Packers,” Ms. DeGeneres joked, before ending with a message to Mr. Bush.

“You owe me $6 for the nachos.”

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