In the latest news of people being mad about something a celebrity chose to in their personal life, the internet is pretty ticked off at Ellen DeGeneres.
It all began with a photo of DeGeneres and George W. Bush sitting together at a football game.
The unlikely duo appeared at the Packers v. Cowboys game, with their respective wives, cheering on their respective teams. But due to the polarity of their respective political ideologies, Bush and DeGeneres made an enormous splash in the media.
Ellen DeGeneres is an LGBTQ+ woman who works in the entertainment industry as a comedian.
George W. Bush is a conservative right-wing figurehead found guilty on several counts of war crimes due to his involvement in Iraq.
Those two descriptions do not mesh very well together.
But do they go so far as to barr the possibility of friendship? Not according to the woman herself, Ellen DeGeneres.
A brief segment on her talk show explained the comedian’s point of view, defending the relationship behind the incriminating photograph and referring to Bush as her friend.
“When I say, ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”
From a woman who lives with every opportunity to face historical discrimination for her gender, sexuality, or profession, an olive branch was extended to a highly controversial former president.
At the root of all this drama, it seems clear that the internet is up in arms over the fact that the same kindness would not likely be dealt from the other side.
Condemning Bush for his injustices and shortcomings has been the trend for several years now, but only after this altercation did it jump back into the spotlight.
Other big names, such as Hollywood star Mark Ruffalo, stood up to voice their distaste for DeGeneres’s act of peace, flooding Twitter with their disappointment.
But these naysayers did not run unopposed, facing the likes of Orlando Bloom, Lenny Kravitz, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and dozens more on the supporting side.
Reaching across the aisle has never been a trending topic for this long before.
Encouraging conservatives to open their minds to the liberal values has been widely accepted as a good, progressive step in ensuring peace for our generation.
Unfortunately for our egalitarian utopia, Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to George W. Bush at a football game has effectively proven that open-mindedness is not the two-way street that the world thought it was.
And the buck doesn’t stop there, because as always, someone had to bring Donald Trump into things.
CNN editor, Chris Cillizza, named DeGeneres’s standing on the topic “anti-Trumpism,” adding yet another layer of controversial Republican presidential gravitas into the mix in the worst possible way.
The debate over whether or not DeGeneres and Bush could be friends ballooned out to include the most problematic election and presidency the country has ever seen.
And so a simple seating arrangement at a sports game sparked an internet wildfire.
Whether or not the once-beloved Ellen will be ‘cancelled’ remains to be seen. This is a viral culture that loves to permanently shun celebrities for acting in ways the masses don’t agree with.
The question isn’t whether or not an across-the-aisle act of friendship is enough to condemn a beloved liberal icon—it should be enough—or should we take a page out of Ellen’s book and practice a little kindness?