Why yet another picture is sending the internet into a frenzy and revealing the true state of our political and social climate. 

Last week, a picture of former President Goerge W. Bush and celebrity Ellen Degeneres laughing and conversing at a Dallas Cowboys game surfaced on the internet. The picture quickly caused a stir and made Ellen’s supporters mad, immediately demanding Ellen’s attention, since it did not take long before it was trending on Twitter. This picture even prompted the final question at the last Democratic presidential debate. 

Bush was enjoying the Cowboys vs. Packers game in Jerry Jones’ exclusive suit when the camera cut to him and Ellen laughing alongside each other. ESPN columnist Clinton Yates even tweeted that the scene was a Sunday shocker, to say the least. 

People quickly attacked Ellen on Twitter calling her out for hanging out with Bush, calling the former president an anti-LGBTQ+ supporter for almost passing an amendment against the group and a war starter because of his involvement with the conflict in Iraq.

It is important to understand that the president and Ellen have a relationship outside of politics. The two have been friends for quite some time and the former president appeared on the Ellen show back in 2017. Nonetheless, the controversy that arose was large enough to force Ellen to have to make a public statement on her daytime show. 

“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,” Ellen said. “We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different… but just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.”

Numerous celebrity supporters came to Ellen’s defense by either subtweeting her statement or by tweeting at Ellen directly. Kristen Bell shared the picture using a crown tweet emoji in support of Ellen. Blake Shelton also subtweeted Ellen’s public statement saying “Amen @TheEllenShow… Thank you for saying this.” 

Allyson Chiu of the Washington Post said, “Some applauded DeGeneres for putting aside her political differences, critics argued that the segment illustrated her privilege, sparking a fresh round of backlash.” 

Supporters include Jamie Fox, Jennifer Garner, Gwen Stefani, Scooter Braun, and Piers Morgan. The support from numerous celebrities also raises another issue regarding why celebrities come out of controversies unscathed when politicians have their pasts haunt them forever. What would have happened if two opposing politicians were caught hanging out in the same fashion? 

Even after the public statement was issued, the topic made it all the way to the Democratic Presidential debate on Oct. 15. 

Before the debate closed out, the moderators asked all 12 candidates to name their most shocking friendship and how it changed them, referencing the controversy that recently passed.  

After the debate, many people took to Twitter once again to explain their disappointment in this controversy even making its way into the debate, mostly blaming the moderators. 

The Daily Show took to Twitter to voice their opinion about their disappointment over the questions handled in the debate, stating, “When you’re eight hours into the debate and Anderson Cooper asks a question about Ellen,” in a quite sarcastic tone.  

With many other issues facing America right now, people were baffled that such a question could make the debate. The topic brought another spotlight on how social media can define the news citizens consume and read. Apps like Facebook and Twitter are making what seems like surface issues seem way more controversial. 

The topic further conjures up questions of whether or not public figures can be friends with someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Should this topic really be making national news? People should be able to be friends with whoever they want despite their opposing beliefs.

This Ellen controversy is a prime example of how divided the U.S. is politically at the moment. The two parties are constantly bickering and bashing each other which has further ignited such hostility in politics. 

Through all of this, it is important to remember the benefits and foundations of civil discussion. The moment that we stop being able to associate with people who even disagree slightly with us, we lost all sight of being American. As Americans, we need to stop making things more than they are. 

To watch Ellen’s apology video click here!