Ellen DeGeneres is defending herself after being accused of racism. The talk show host was slammed on Twitter after she tweeted a Photoshopped picture of herself riding on Olympian Usain Bolt’s back on Monday, August 15.
“This is how I’m running errands from now on. #Rio2016,” the Finding Dory star, 58, tweeted along with the edited image of the 29-year-old Jamaican sprinter at the Olympics. The original picture of the gold medalist was taken Sunday, August 14, and went viral as Bolt appears to be smiling while looking back at his opponents during the men’s 100-meter semifinals. The athlete finished the race in 9.86 seconds and went on to win the gold in the finals Monday.
“@TheEllenShow so the first thing that pops in your head when looking at this pic is ‘Oh let me jump onto his back like he’s a common mule’?” one Twitter user asked DeGeneres, while another added: “@TheEllenShow despite its intentions this pic has ugly connotations comin from a rich white lady.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 15, 2016
The funnywoman took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend herself.
“I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country,” she tweeted. “It is the furthest thing from who I am.”
Bolt, who is considered the fastest man in the world, seemingly wasn’t bothered by the meme as he retweeted DeGeneres’ tweet with the photo.
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