The criticism has been pouring over Ellen DeGeneres ever since she was spotted at a Dallas Cowboys game seated next to former U.S. President George W. Bush.
Photos and videos of the American comedian with wife Portia de Rossi on her left side and Bush on her right side generated quite the objection online. The criticism intensified when DeGeneres referred to Bush as her "friend" in the aftermath of the game. Her comments came during a segment of her show as she talked about the importance of being friends with people whose views may differ from your own. But are war crimes a difference that can be brushed aside?
At some point during the segment, she flaunted footage she captured during the game of the "fancy" individuals seated next to her. At the end of the video, Bush appears. The audience cheers. She then goes on to talk about another video people circulated online in which she and the former president can be seen laughing together.
"People were upset," she explained during the segment. "They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?"
This was just seconds before she explained that she and Bush are friends. She added that she has many friends with whom her views don't intersect, and that it's perfectly OK. Well, does DeGeneres recall that Bush called for a constitutional amendment in 2004 to ban same-sex marriage? Does she recall that he started the deadly Iraq War and all the crimes committed during that time? These aren't differences that can be overlooked when befriending someone. But to DeGeneres, it seems as though they are.
Some celebrities came to DeGeneres' defense including Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Bell, both of whom came to the comedian's defense in now-deleted social media posts. But Mark Ruffalo (aka Hulk) proved to be the superhero we all know him to be following DeGeneres' controversial moment.
In a tweet posted on Oct. 9, Ruffalo reminded DeGeneres what factors eliminate kindness from one's blood.
"Until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War ... we can't even begin to talk about kindness," he wrote.
His tweet amassed over 93,000 re-tweets and countless comments. Some nodded in agreement with Ruffalo, as one would expect. But there were plenty of others who mocked, criticized, and insulted the actor for advocating for justice.
Many came to Ruffalo's defense because HUMANITY > ALL ELSE
"If we ever want to live in a world with true kindness ... we won't get there by normalizing war criminals"
"Reminding the younger generation about the disastrous legacy of the Bush years"
"What a man"
Mark Ruffalo has long been an advocate for human rights. He's especially been vocal with his support for the Palestinian cause.
"Criticizing the actions of Israel is not anti-semitism. Since when is advocating for human rights a fireable offense?" he tweeted in 2018. His words came after CNN fired a regular contributor for "defending Palestinian human rights."
Ruffalo has also defended abortion rights, championed environmental causes, and has been outspoken in his resistance to various policies and decisions that have affected millions of people in the U.S. following the election of Donald Trump into office.