Elton John Defends Ellen DeGeneres Following Backlash Over George W. Bush Friendship

Elton John and Ellen Degeneres

Elton John and Ellen Degeneres during The 69th Annual Academy Awards - Elton John AIDS Foundation Party in Los Angeles in 1997.

Ellen DeGeneres fell into a world of Twitter backlash after she was spotted with her wife Portia de Rossi sitting alongside former Republican President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game last weekend. Their differing views caused fans to slam DeGeneres for her friendship with the conservative politican, but Elton John immediately came to his friend's defense. 

The legend told NPR on Monday (Oct. 14) that he "admires Ellen for standing up and saying what she did.”

“Unfortunately, what our democracy has become now is that it’s not OK to have different opinions than yours and that is not healthy,” he explained. “George Bush has made a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. Ellen DeGeneres has made a lot of mistakes. … Yes, there were [bad] decisions that he’s made, but that was made by Democratic presidents and Republican presidents."

DeGeneres responded to the tweets on her talk show. 

"When we were invited, I was aware that I was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs. And I'm not talking about politics... I was rooting for the Packers," she joked. "So I had to hide my cheese hat in Portia's purse."

"They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?... A lot of people were mad. And they did what people do when they're mad... they tweet," she continued. "Here's the thing: 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," DeGeneres continued. "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."

"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. Doesn't matter," she concluded.