Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Negative Backlash After She Sat Next to George W. Bush at NFL Game

Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush
Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

'When I say, 'Be kind to one another,' I don't mean only the people who think the same way that you do.'

Ellen DeGeneres is standing up for her friends! The 61-year-old talk show host opens up on the Tuesday episode of her show about a photo that went viral of herself and former president George W. Bush sitting together and laughing at a Dallas Cowboys game. 

"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 and, get this, everybody in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the Cowboys," DeGeneres quips to the crowd. 

She then acknowledges the photo that went viral online. 

"During the game they showed a shot of George and me laughing together," she says, then jokes by adding, "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 brand new iPhone 11."

DeGeneres then notes that a lot of people online had strong opinions about the photo, but calls out one tweet that said the photo gave the person hope for America. 

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

She adds that it's important to still be friends with people who don't share your same beliefs. 

"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 who think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn't matter," she notes, before joking, "Even people who are already playing Christmas music. There's no excuse for that, but I'm kind to them."

DeGeneres also recently defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Watch the clip below for more: