Tweet about Usain Bolt by Ellen DeGeneres Being Called Racist

Television talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a doctored photo of herself and Jamaica’s Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt in which she was portrayed as riding on Bolt’s back as he ran. DeGeneres captioned the photo “This is how I’m running errands from now on,” and reactions from Twitter viewers was strong and immediate. Some did not find the image funny at all, writing “so the first thing that pops into your head when looking at this pic is “oh let me jump onto his back like he’s a common mule”? Another comment was “Imagine a white-man Photoshop himself riding Elaine Thompson,” Jamaican Elaine Thompson is the 2016 women’s 100-meter gold medalist at the Olympics. Other Tweeters defended Ellen, saying that DeGeneres and Bolt and friends and that if Bolt was white, no one would care about the photo. DeGeneres herself responded to the controversy by tweeting, “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.” The Ellen Show initially responded to the first critical tweet with a video of Bolt’s appearance on the show in which he raced then-8-year-old Jamaican Demarjay Smith, a viral video star, who told Ellen he thought he could beat the sprint champion in a race. Ellen’s tweet about his video was “Here;s something you don’t see very often-@UsainBolt losing a race. This was 1 of my favorite moments from last season.”