Ellen DeGeneres responded to criticism of her friendship with former President George W. Bush on her show this week, after the two were spotted alongside their respective spouses taking in a Dallas Cowboys game from a private box. She probably would have been better off letting it go without commentary, but that is not her way, and it is *checks social media* not going well for her out here.
DeGeneres claimed her friendship with Bush was nothing more than two people with differing opinions finding a way to be friends, and argued that we need to be kind to everyone, even if we disagree with them, glossing over his disastrous, deceitful, anti-LGBTQ, murderous presidency.
Laura & George Bush sitting with Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi is not something I expected to see at an NFL game pic.twitter.com/AbWbhXd3RC
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) October 6, 2019
Many have been quick to call her out on her privilege blinding her, while drawing parallels between this incident and her decision to offer a platform to Kevin Hart during the Oscars hosting controversy, following a series of his homophobic tweets coming back to light, and demeaning his critics as nothing but “haters.”
“People were mad,” she said, dismissively, of the reaction to her palling around with Bush, “and people did what they do when they’re mad, they tweet.”
That response was perfectly shot down by Cody Johnston, of Some More News, in a tweet of his own, pointing out that the platform is a way for the powerless to be heard, including by the out-of-touch powerful who would rather not hear it.
A side issue with Ellen's monologue is her dismissive "when people get angry, they tweet" line. Lack of consequences for the powerful makes people feel powerless, and this platform lets them communicate that, sometimes directly to powerful, out-of-touch millionaires like her.
— Cody Johnston (@drmistercody) October 8, 2019
But it is another tweet, of a video satirizing her monologue, that the Ellen team really doesn’t want anyone to see and hear.
Activist Rafael Shimunov placed images from the Iraq war and of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib behind the television personality as she gave her schmaltzy, self-serving defense, and the result is damning. Damning enough that DeGeneres’ team appears to be taking the mass takedown notice approach, claiming the video is in violation of The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s copyright.
It still lives on YouTube, however, and is being reuploaded by other Twitter users, a Streisand effect taking hold to ensure more people will view it than would have had they let it be.
Many observers have been quick to point out the video should fall safely under the definition of fair use, and Shimunov told Popula he has disputed the claim he violated copyright, and is holding off on reuploading it himself because if he were to do so he would be at risk of losing his account altogether.
But plenty of other Twitter users have been more than happy to lend a helping hand.
— Mark Gongloff (@markgongloff) October 9, 2019
Ellen is trying to wipe this devastating video by @rafaelshimunov from the internet under bogus copyright grounds, despite it being the textbook definition of artistic fair use.
Please join me in reposting it and encouraging others to do so till it’s really *everywhere.* pic.twitter.com/ugZIhYek2N
— Certified Lover Bjorn (@bjorn) October 10, 2019
— 24/27 (@javier14gomez) October 10, 2019
“People are actually, like, messaging me, who have a few hundred followers on Twitter, saying things like, ’Wow, I never thought I could be powerful before. I always thought you all with the blue checks, and this and that, [that] whatever you guys want [happens]. But this is something we did,'” he added.