(Photo courtesy of Associated Press)
La Cañada High School

Opinion: Ellen DeGeneres and George Bush controversy

After being photographed with former President George W. Bush at a recent Dallas Cowboys football game, comedian Ellen DeGeneres has garnered a fair amount of heat on Twitter for spending time with someone so far down the opposite side of the political spectrum. 

DeGeneres responded on her talk show stating that she is “friends with George Bush” and that “just because [she doesn’t] agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that [she’s] not going to be friends with them,” urging viewers to just “be kind to one another.”

Several celebrities and public figures have shown their support for DeGeneres on social media after her statement, including actresses Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Bell, praising her for shutting down negativity and encouraging others to do the same.

Unsurprisingly, these posts drew mostly negative responses from users, many criticizing the “privileged” Hollywood elite and pointing out that no amount of kindness could make up for numerous accusations against Bush for his war crimes in the Middle East during his presidency. 

Of course, DeGeneres should earn at least some credit for attempting to promote positivity. Especially in a world that is only becoming increasingly divided over what seems like nearly everything ranging from politics to religion, we need as much positivity as we can get. However, as illustrated by DeGeneres’s star-studded Twitter and Instagram comments voicing their support, she is only one of many of the top one percent who seem to think that we can fix major global issues that will most likely never affect them simply by being more accepting and compassionate. 

Like most stand-up comedians, DeGeneres used to be beloved for her relatability, especially for the LGBTQ community. But now after becoming arguably one of the most successful comedians in Hollywood, she does not represent working and middle-class Americans anymore, but the culturally elite. DeGeneres is not seeking kindness for the general population, but for the powerful.

Sometimes, kindness just simply is not enough.