See the 'Avengers: Endgame' star's response to the controversy.
Over the weekend, the daytime talk show host attended the Dallas Cowboys game with wife Portia de Rossi. During the game, fans and TV cameras spotted her sitting next to former President George W. Bush. This ignited a fierce pushback from individuals online who saw DeGeneres' chummy bonding with the conservative politician as a betrayal of her liberal values.
On Tuesday, the 61-year-old TV personality addressed the controversy on her show, taking the opportunity to make a solemn plea for unity with audience members and viewers at home.
"During the game they showed a shot of George and me laughing together," she said, before joking, "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."
"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 added. "We're all different, and I think that we've forgotten that that's OK that we're all different."
DeGeneres concluded that her proud advocacy of kindness over the years doesn't only apply to the individuals with whom we see eye to eye.
"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 noted, again joking, "Even people who are already playing Christmas music. There's no excuse for that, but I'm kind to them."
However, not everyone is embracing her optimistic message. Ruffalo, who tweeted a story discussing how DeGeneres handled the situation -- and offered his own opinion of the Bush administration's legacy.
"Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars-emotional & otherwise-inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can't even begin to talk about kindness," the Avengers: Endgame star wrote on Wednesday.
Other celebs have shown their support for DeGeneres and her stance in this divisive moment, including Reese Witherspoon, who wrote in a since-deleted tweet, "Thank you for this important reminder, Ellen!"
Kristen Bell also came to the comedian's defense, posting a photo of Bush and DeGeneres on Instagram. She captioned the post, "Shes my ?????????@theellenshow."
See more on DeGeneres below.