After a photo of former US president George W Bush and Ellen DeGeneres seated next to each other at an NFL game last weekend went viral, the talk show host defended being friends with the controversial former head of state. And while there were plenty of people who accepted her explanation, actor Mark Ruffalo reignited the debate over the former president by pointing out that Bush had still not been brought to justice.
The controversy started after footage emerged of Bush and DeGeneres watching the NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys’ and Green Bay Packers with their spouses. As criticism grew, the popular talk show host explained her presence at the game with Bush, and reacted to the criticism in the opening monologue of her show.
Laura & George Bush sitting with Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi is not something I expected to see at an NFL game pic.twitter.com/AbWbhXd3RC
— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) October 6, 2019
The 61-year-old TV host argued that it’s okay to be with friends moving beyond all difference in opinion.
“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 said. “We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different. Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not going to be friends with them.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 8, 2019
While many supported DeGeneres, Ruffalo, who’s most popular for playing The Incredible Hulk in the Marvel movies, weighed in on the issue on Wednesday.
The actor tweeted that “we can’t even begin to talk about kindness” until Bush is “brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War.” Ruffalo has been a vocal protester against the Iraq war.
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. https://t.co/dpMwfck6su
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 9, 2019
Ruffalo’s tweet left people divided. While some joked that the actor was “never getting invited back on Ellen again,” many fans praised Ruffalo for using his power to speak the truth. Many lauded him as a “voice of reason,” and shared experiences on how Bush administration’s decisions affected them and argued that the former president seemed more acceptable only due to Trump’s presence. However, there were also those who didn’t quite agree with the Marvel star.
Here are some reactions to the actor’s tweet: