Football fans who tuned in to the Cowboys game against the Green Bay Packers over the weekend were hit with a surprise when the camera panned over an unlikely pair of guests sitting next to one another — day time talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and former President George W. Bush.
DeGeneres is a known LGBT advocate who is sympathetic to liberal political causes, and Bush was known as the most evil Republican to ever exist before Donald Trump decided to make his own run for the White House in late 2015. For obvious reasons, it’s out of the norm to see them together — even though both are in the public eye on a frequent basis.
Some Americans saw the brief pairing on the Fox broadcast as a sign that Americans of different lifestyles and beliefs can still get along with one another. Others, however, had a more hostile takeaway — suggesting that DeGeneres was betraying her own kind just by being in the presence of a Christian conservative politician. Twitter users reacted to the image in the exact way we’ve come to expect at this point — with the typical baseless insults that have come to describe all outrage culture.
DeGeneres didn’t have to address this faux-controversy during her own program, but she did. Instead of capitulate and apologize to the mob, she stood her ground and defended both herself and the former president — whom she referred to as a friend.
“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,” the day time host said during a monologue on Tuesday. “We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different… but just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.”
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
Now, we’re not going to pretend that Ellen is suddenly converted to the conservative cause — because she isn’t. But that isn’t the point here. We have an individual who can accurately be described as a “Hollywood liberal” (her own words) taking the outrage culture head on, saying enough is enough. And she’s right on that point.
We can only hope that more celebrities who see how destructive outrage culture is take a similar stance in the future. Sadly, we’re not going to hold our breath over it. We will, however, appreciate this small moment that proves that Americans can still come together to enjoy something.