Racial tensions are running at an all-time high right now with everything that is going on in the country, which means that hyper-sensitivity is also more prevalent than it has been in recent memory. When you add those two together you have to be very careful what you say, post and in this case tweet, as Ellen DeGeneres learned the hard way yesterday afternoon when she tweeted a controversial photo of herself and Olympic gold medalist Usian Bolt.
With everyone still marveling at Usian Bolt’s history-making performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, it was only natural that endless memes were created showcasing just how ridiculously fast he is on the track. Well Ellen DeGeneres wanted to get on the fun too and she did so by tweeting a photo-shopped picture of herself on Bolt’s back, with the caption “This is how I’m running errands from now on.” Let’s just say that many did not find the humor in her tweet.
Almost immediately, the photo was deemed racist, with many detractors likening the photo to the old slave master and slave image of Black men being superhuman work horses who were used for sport during slavery.
For her part, DeGeneres quickly responded to the backlash by later tweeting, “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.” However, all of social media wasn’t out to bash her for her tweet, as some simply saw it as a harmless attempt to be funny while commenting on Usian Bolt’s out-of-this-world speed.
You can check out Ellen DeGeneres’ initial tweet and her follow-up tweet in response to the backlash below:
Tell us what you think. Do you think Ellen’s tweet crossed the line or was it all in good fun? Let us know in the comments below!
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