Ellen DeGeneres is under fire! The talk show host is being accused of racism after posting a meme of her riding on the back of Usain Bolt. Social media has torn into Ellen, who swears she meant no ill will with the joke. Click here to see the meme and Ellen’s defense.
Ellen DeGeneres, 58, swears she is not a racist, but she is being accused of holding that title by many on Twitter after posting a meme on Aug. 15 of her riding Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, 29, in the now famous photo of him flashing a casual smile during his winning 100 meter men’s final sprint. The comedian insists that she meant no harm with the photoshopped image, which she captioned, “This is how I’m running my errands from now on. #Rio2016.” After that, Twitter users went for the jugular, tearing into Ellen for what they considered to be an insensitive image.
The responses to the tweet were varied, but many were aggressive. “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’?” tweeted Jon Snow-ratio. “an apology won’t do. This is utterly f***ing ridiculous. How dare you!?!?” tweeted Iyonah. But other users came to Ellen’s defense, including Usain himself, who retweeted the image. “@TheEllenShow @usainbolt literally I’m black and don’t take offense to this she’s basically complimenting him on his speed and stamina.” fourfivehours tweeted in support of Ellen.
I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 16, 2016
On Aug. 16, Ellen took to Twitter once more, not to apologize, but to make it clear to all who had accused her of racism that they couldn’t be more wrong. “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.” We totally love that Ellen addressed the messy situation in such a positive way and stood up for herself and explained the matter at hand, rather than shying away from it.
Ellen has a very positive personal history with Usain, who came on her show in November 2015. When she told Usain that she was pleased to know the fastest man in the world had a “charming personality for television,” the sprinter joked with her, “What about my face?” Ha! It looks like Usain and Ellen may share the same sense of humor.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Ellen’s meme could be considered racist? Let us know below!