Why Ellen DeGeneres’ friendship with George W. Bush is so controversial

In response to being photographed with “friend” George W. Bush at a recent Dallas Cowboys game,Ellen DeGeneres preached that everyone should “be kind”to each other — even if they hold different beliefs.

With regard to LGBTQ rights, Bush in 2004called for a constitutional amendmentto ban gay marriage (although he supported civil unions). But DeGeneres, who is married to actress Portia de Rossi and famouslycame out in 1997, seemingly looked past it.

It was a touching sentiment of tolerance, but the daytime talk show host has proven time and time again that she doesn’t practice what she preaches. DeGeneres, 61, has banned numerous celebrities from appearing on her show when they have expressed views that contradict her own, including those who have vocalized their anti-gay marriage views.

Reps for DeGeneres didn’t return Page Six’s request for comment.

Caitlyn Jenner

DeGeneres reportedly banned Jenner, 69, from her show in 2017 after she released her tell-all memoir, “The Secrets of My Life,” in which she claimed DeGeneres “alienated” her from the LGBTQ community after appearing on the show two years prior and saying she still hadn’t come to accept gay marriage.

“I have to admit that I remember 15 years ago, 20 years ago, whenever it was that the whole gay marriage issue came up, I was not for it,” Jenner explained in 2015. “I am a traditionalist. I mean, I’m older than most people in the audience. I like tradition and it’s always been between a man and a woman and I’m thinking I don’t quite get it.”

Later in her memoir, she said she accepted gay marriage, calling it a “wonderful thing to see.”

Vince Vaughn

DeGeneres reportedly banned Vaughn, 49, from appearing on her show while he was promoting his 2011 comedy “The Dilemma” because the trailer showed Vaughn’s character saying, “Electric cars are gay. I mean, not homosexual, but my-parents-are-chaperoning-the-dance gay.”

She refused to have Vaughn on the show after Anderson Cooper came on and expressed his shock and dismay at the quip. The two eventually made amends and Vaughn started appearing on her talk show a couple of years later.

However, a source told us that Vaughn and DeGeneres “love each other” and that he stopped appearing because he had nothing to promote.

Kathy Griffin

The “Finding Nemo” star wouldn’t allow Griffin, 58, to appear on her show given their long-standing feud, which, according to Griffin, began when DeGeneres opened her show with a monologue about how “mean” Griffin could be.

“Ellen did a monologue about how mean I am,” Griffin told Us Weekly. “I was in the dressing room like, ‘S–t! You’re another woman comic, c’mon!’”

Griffin later said she was banned from appearing on DeGeneres’ show, and DeGeneres laterslammed her to W magazine: “I know she had a big thing about wanting to be on the show, and we didn’t book her,” she said. “She did a whole thing that I banned her from the show. I didn’t ban her from the show, because first you have to be on the show to be banned.”

Kim Burrell

The gospel singer, 54, was set to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” alongside Pharrell to promote their song from “Hidden Figures,” but DeGeneres banned her from appearing aftershe made homophobic commentsin a video.

“I actually didn’t know her, her name is Kim Burrell. She made a statement she was doing a Facebook Live and she said some very not nice things about homosexuals, so I didn’t feel that was good of me to have her on the show to give her a platform after she was saying things about me,” DeGeneres explained on her show before letting Pharrell discuss Burrell.

Pharrell admonished Burrell’s comments but maintained people should “love each other” despite differing views and beliefs.

“I love her, just like I love everybody else and we all got to get used to that,” he said. “We all have to get used to everyone’s differences and understand that this is a big, gigantic, beautiful, colorful world and it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way.”

He added that “sometimes the divisive stuff works in life. We learned that lesson last year that sometimes divisiveness works. But you have to choose what side you’re on. I’m choosing empathy. I’m choosing inclusion. I’m choosing love for everybody just trying to lift everyone. Even when I disagree with someone, I’m wishing them the best and hoping for the best because we can’t win the other way.”

Sherri Shepherd

The former “The View” panelist, 52, first appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” during its first season and subsequently appeared numerous times until Shepherd started making comments on “The View” that were perceived as anti-gay, an insider close to the situation exclusively told Page Six.

“When Sherri was on ‘The View,’ she used to get booked on the ‘Ellen’ show all the time. After she came out on ‘The View’ taking a stance against gay marriage, the ‘Ellen’ show refused to book Sherri,” our insider said. “They never gave a reason but the writing was on the wall.

“Ellen is obviously a hypocrite,” the source explained. “She said she can be friends with people who have different views from hers, yet she won’t give those people her platform and block them from appearing on her show.”

Shepherd has made various comments that were deemed homophobic, includingsaying on “Alicia Menendez Tonight”in 2014 that growing up Christian led her to believe homosexuality was a sin.

“I think people don’t know my heart,” she told Menendez. “I think people feel I’m very judgmental. I think people feel I’m very homophobic. If they knew me, and knew my heart … You grow up being a Christian and you grow up believing homosexuality is a sin; you’re going to hell if you’re a homosexual. This is something that they teach in churches. So it’s something that I grew up believing.

“I might not agree with your lifestyle, but I love you,” she continued. “You may not agree with my lifestyle, but you love me … I don’t say it’s a choice. If you tell me, ‘Sherri, I was born gay.’ Okay. I’m not gonna argue with you, because I can’t tell you how you feel and what’s going on inside. I’m trying to make it into heaven by the skin of my teeth … I don’t know who I’m gonna see.”

Shelater apologizedand claimed her comments were misinterpreted by the media.

She told us in a statement on Thursday: “I’ve always admired and respected Ellen. She was the first to book me for my first talk show, where I went on to hold a record 23 appearances; and she championed for me to be a co-host on ‘The View’ in 2007. The views and thoughts that I held have evolved from the statements I made on ‘The View’ over 10 years ago and I support same sex marriage and partnerships. I am unsure why I haven’t been booked on Ellen’s show since my tenure on ‘The View,’ but I welcome the opportunity to reconnect with Ellen to thank her for her support and opportunities that have happened for me because of her.”

Kevin Hart

Despite DeGeneres’ staunch stance on whom she allows on her show, it appears she makes exceptions.

DeGeneres had Hart, 40, appear on her show after hestepped down from hosting the 2019 Oscarsfollowing a series of old homophobic jokes resurfacing. He initially apologized for the off-color jokes but then said outright he wouldn’t atone anymore.

When DeGeneres defended Hart, social media userscame out in droves to criticize her.

“Hi Ellen, I think you’re a cool lady. Have for a while now. But this? This ain’t it,” a social media user tweeted. “Kevin’s attacks were geared towards black, gay men. That being said, you have no authority to forgive him on behalf of a section of the community you don’t belong to.”

DeGeneres also said she called the Academy at the time because she really wanted to see Hart host despite his homophobic comments.

“We want him to host, whatever we can do, we’d be thrilled,” DeGeneres said the Academy told her in a phone call. “The Academy is saying, ‘What can we do to make this happen.’”

The host told Hart not to listen to the “haters out there.”

It’s unclear if DeGeneres will still maintain her “ban” on certain celebrities, but if she does,Mark Ruffalomight join that list.

On Tuesday, the Marvel star slammed DeGeneres for her friendship with Bush because of his “crimes” involving the military

“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,”he tweeted.

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