Rafael Shimunov/YouTube

Edited ‘Ellen’ clip shows the Iraq War as she explains her Bush friendship

The video's creator has gone viral before.


Ignacio Martinez


Posted on Oct 10, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 1:48 am CDT

An edited version of Ellen DeGeneres defending her friendship with George W. Bush is exploding in popularity online. The video shows DeGeneres’ unedited speech while a slideshow of the horrors from the Iraq War plays on the screen behind her. One standout moment occurs at the 1:05 mark of the video where DeGeneres matches the body language of an Abu Ghraib prisoner being tortured in an image behind her. 

The edit was originally removed after its creator claims he received unwarranted copyright claims from the Ellen show. 

The clip of DeGeneres addressing her friendly interaction with Bush in a “fancy” private suite at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas was uploaded late Monday night and the pushback was immediate from social media. Many online were not willing to stomach DeGeneres’ advice to befriend those you disagree with. Instead, they saw the defense of her friendship with Bush as class solidarity among the rich and powerful. 

Video editor Rafael Shimunov is one person who was not willing to accept DeGeneres’ call for unity. Shimunov’s edit originally received just over 300 favorites and less than 100 retweets. Shimunov says that the video was removed by Twitter on copyright grounds that he claims ignored the doctrine of fair use. After this, Shimunov uploaded the video to a variety of other platforms and the video started snowballing attention on Twitter once again this week.

Now, the video is being re-uploaded by those who agree with Shimunov’s sentiments. Sharers seem aware they might receive a copyright claim and disciplinary action on their Twitter accounts because of the video. However, Shimunov’s unique commentary appears to be worth the risk for them.


Shimunov is also responsible for helping prove that the White House deliberately edited footage of reporter Jim Acosta and used it as evidence to revoke his credentials. Through editing, Shimunov was able to prove that the White House doctored a clip of the CNN reporter to make it appear as if he aggressively handled an aide while attempting to ask President Donald Trump a question at a press conference. Acosta’s press pass was eventually reinstated.


Share this article
*First Published: Oct 10, 2019, 9:07 am CDT