Ellen Degeneres Sitting With George W. Bush
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Ellen Degeneres Sitting With George W. Bush refers to the backlash regarding a photograph of talk show host Ellen Degeneres sitting next to former United States President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game. Online people criticized Degeneres for sitting with Bush, whose policies against the LGBTQ+ community continued controversial and discriminatory policies against American citizens. Degeneres has since explained her position on the matter, which led to more criticism of Degeneres.
On October 6th, 2019, Ellen Degeneres was captured by television cameras sitting next to President George W. Bush and appearing to be enjoying his company. That day, Twitter user @cjzero tweeted a screenshot of the broadcast that featured the two together. They captioned the image, "Laura & George Bush sitting with Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi is not something I expected to see at an NFL game." The tweet received more than 5,000 likes and 550 retweets in four days (shown below).
Many online criticized Degeneres for sitting with George W. Bush. For example, Twitter user @atrupar tweeted, "I don’t care how nice of a guy George W Bush is. He was one of our worst presidents and left our country and world in bad shape. The mess he helped create we’re still trying to dig out of. This is a bad look for @TheEllenShow." The tweet received more than 6,800 likes and 850 retweets in four days (shown below, left).
Comedian Vic Berger compared the image to Jimmy Fallon tussling Donald Trump's Hair, sarcastically tweeting, "Hell yeah. Really, really cool. I love stuff like this!" Within four days, the tweet received more than 9,000 likes and 980 retweets (shown below, center).
Some, however, appeared delighted by the two sitting together. Twitter user @PrinceOfFresh tweeted, "George W. Bush cracking jokes with Ellen at the #GBvsDAL game is the best thing to happen this year" (shown below, right).
The following day, Degeneres discussed the photograph on her television series. She said, "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."
"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, it doesn’t matter.'"
That day, the clip was posted on YouTube and Twitter.
The apology also became a facet of the overall criticism against Degeneres, as many objected to the idea of her "rehabilitating" the image of President Bush, whose controversial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties.
Splinter news called their friendship "Nauseating." They wrote, "Don’t you just love it when America’s most beloved current talk show host participates in the continued whitewashing of the legacy of one of the worst and most despicable presidents of all time? What’s that you say about Iraq and Guantanamo and Katrina and waterboarding and, oh yes, very relevant for Ellen, the anti-gay bigotry? I guess Ellen can’t hear you."
Rafael Shimunov Video
On October 8th, video editor Rafael Shimunov posted a video of Degeneres' apology manipulated so that images from the wars and various war-related controversies such as the photographs from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq playing behind her (video below).
Shortly after tweeting the video, Shimunov claimed that the Ellen show had been attempting to take the video off the Twitter. He wrote, "Against Twitter's own fair use policy and against US copyright law, @TheEllenShow successfully convinced Twitter to remove my video."
However, a still from the video that features Degeneres standing before the photographs from Abu Ghraib so that it looks like the image is connected to her like a marionette puppet, continued to spread around the internet. Twitter user @EdgeofSports tweeted the photograph with the caption, "This still image tells the story of the 21st century." The tweet received more than 5,000 likes and 1,300 retweets (shown below, left).
On October 9th, Shimunov tweeted, "Ellen DeGeneres tried to have my video censored by Twitter using a false copyright claim. Now, people are risking their Twitter accounts to reupload it until it goes viral." The tweet received more than 8,700 likes and 2,700 retweets in 24 hours (shown below, right).
Several media outlets covered the photograph and backlash, including Splinter, USA Today, Out, Vox, Fast Company and more.
 Twitter – @cjzero's Tweet
 Twitter – @atrupar's Tweet
 Twitter – @VicBergerIV's Tweet
 Twitter – @PrinceOfFresh's Tweet
 Twitter – @TheEllenShow's Tweet
 Twitter – @rafaelshimunov's Tweet
 Twitter – @EdgeofSports
 Twitter – @rafaelshimunov's Tweet
 Splinter Ellen Staunchly Defends Her Nauseating Friendship With George W. Bush
 USA Today – NFL fans had lots of jokes about Ellen sitting next to George W. Bush at Cowboys game
 USA Today – George W. Bush 'appreciated' Ellen DeGeneres going to bat for friendship after backlash
 Out – Ellen DeGeneres Was Spotted Laughing with George W. Bush
 Vox – Ellen DeGeneres, George W. Bush, and the death of uncritical niceness
 Fast Company – This remix of Ellen’s pathetic defense of George W. Bush is devastating
 Brown – Human Cost of the Post-9/11 Wars
Oct 10, 2019 at 09:14PM EDT
Oct 10, 2019 at 10:15PM EDT in reply to
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