After American comedian – and outspoken liberal – Ellen DeGeneres was photographed on Sunday at an American football game, laughing alongside former United States president George W Bush, her loyal following – many of whom are from the LGBTQ community – was extremely upset. In response, DeGeneres posted what some are calling a “non-apology” video (above).
In the statement, DeGeneres professes that she is friends with many people who have differing beliefs, and gives the example of befriending people who wear real fur, while this isn’t something she personally endorses. Many are criticising this comparison, arguing that Bush has actively fought against the rights of LGBTQ community, and naming him a “war criminal” over the US’s invasion of Iraq during his term as president.
A video edit of her statement, with clips of bloodshed in Iraq in the background has also gone viral.
Queer activist, writer, and Delhi University PhD and gender studies professor Vikramaditya Sahai posted a thought-provoking thread on the outrage against the picture of DeGeneres and Bush “as symptomatic of our obsession with representation over materiality.”