Actor Tim Robbins weighed in on Ellen DeGeneres’ controversial friendship with former president George W. Bush, calling her out for “making peace” with someone who is “responsible for a lot of death.”
In an interview on BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM on Tuesday, Robbins, who stars in the upcoming movie Dark Waters with Mark Ruffalo, spoke candidly about how society fails to hold people like Bush accountable for his role in the Iraq War.
“Listen, I’m all for going across aisles and making peace with people, but there’s certain people that are walking around right now that are responsible for a lot of death,” Robbins said. “That is, for me, something [Bush] has never reckoned with, never taken responsibility for.”
The Iraq War led to tens of thousands of deaths and a devastating humanitarian crisis, and it’s been widely denounced as a massive foreign policy mistake.
The video of DeGeneres and Bush sitting together at a Dallas Cowboys game last month sparked a flood of angry responses from people who pointed out his role in the war and his record on LGBTQ rights, among other things.
DeGeneres later responded in a monologue on her show, defending her friendships with people like Bush who “don’t share the same beliefs that I have.”
“Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything, it doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna be friends with them,” she said, adding that it was important to be kind to people who “don’t think the same way you do.”
Many celebrities came to DeGeneres’ defense, praising her for her message about being “kind” to everyone.
Others, including Robbins’ Dark Waters costar Ruffalo, criticized DeGeneres for seemingly portraying Bush as someone who simply has different opinions.
In his interview Tuesday with BuzzFeed News, Robbins said Bush lives in “an elite bubble” where “you can do whatever the hell you want to in your life [and] pay no ramifications.”
“I work with people in prison that have done a lot less than that, that are spending years and years, if not their entire lives in prison for offenses. And they’re paying for it. They know what they’ve done, and they’ve accepted responsibility for it,” he said. “Meanwhile, you have people going to football games and everything’s fine, and oh, isn’t it cute? No, it’s not cute.”