Ellen DeGeneres has defended herself from accusations of racism after posting on social media an edited photo of herself riding on the back of Jamaican Olympic runner Usain Bolt.
DeGeneres tweeted a Photoshopped version of the viral Bolt meme showing her piggybacking on the athlete’s back:
The original picture of Bolt smiling while sprinting went viral after his gold medal win in the 100m dash.
But many users criticised DeGeneres’ version, claiming it perpetuates the racist image of a white woman riding a black man as a form of transport:
@TheEllenShow You thought it’d be funny to post a pic of yourself riding on the back of a Black man? Nope. Delete this racist garbage.
— Mike (@MikeAllen_47) August 15, 2016
….yet you found it appropriate to post a meme of you riding a Black dude like Ms. Daisy.
Have a seat. ☕ @TheEllenShow
— Angry Black Hoe-Mo (@angryblackhoemo) August 16, 2016
Others defended the comedian, highlighting that she’s often spoken out against all forms of discrimination. Bolt himself retweeted the picture:
DeGeneres replied to the critics on Tuesday afternoon:
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
The talk show host frequently posts photos of herself edited into topical moments and scenes from popular films and TV shows.