LOS ANGELES: Ellen DeGeneres found herself embroiled in controversy after posting what some deemed a racist tweet that showed her riding Usain Bolt’s back via photo editing. Bolt had just won his third consecutive gold medal in the 100-meter race at the Rio Olympics.
“This how I’m running my errands from now on. -Rio2016,” read the tweet from DeGeneres’ account.
Many were outraged on Twitter, saying that the tweet trivialized the journey and success of the Jamaican athlete. Some called for whoever posted the tweet on DeGeneres’ account to be fired.
“Dear @TheEllenShow: Whatever intern thought this tweet was a good idea should be fired. Immediately,” wrote one user.
DeGeneres’ account responded to the controversy Tuesday morning with another tweet, saying, “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.” The original post featuring the edited photo of Bolt and DeGeneres’ is still live on her Twitter page.
Degeneres also posted another tweet about Bolt, featuring a video of Bolt’s visit on her show.
“Heres something you dont see very [email protected] losing a race. This was 1 of my favorite moments from last season,” it read.
Bolt has yet to respond to the controversy, but he did retweet the meme apparently in approval of it. The Jamaican sprinter is expected to defend his 200m and relay gold medals later this week.