August 17th, 2016 – Talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, will want to sit out the next couple of songs until the uproar over her recent twitpic calms down. The comic and daytime TV fixture drew the ire of people across social media who took issue with her doctoring a photo of Jamaican Olympic Gold medalist, Usain Bolt. The widely circulated image showed the sprinting superstar dominating his competition in the Men’s 100M Dash Finals at the Rio Games. In the last 50 meters of the race, Bolt streaked ahead of the field by a wide margin affording him the luxury of peaking back at them as he crossed the finish line to claim an historic third consecutive Gold medal in the event.
Degeneres altered the iconic image of a smiling and superlative Bolt to show her riding on the athlete’s back. She captioned the pic “This is how I’m running errands from now on.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 15, 2016
Some Twitter users who felt the image too readily evoked racist stereotypes about black servitude immediately decried the photo.
@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
“I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.”
I am absolutely baffled by the people currently calling Ellen DeGeneres racist because she, more or less, called an Olympic sprinter fast. — Jeffhaerys Targaryen (@jekelish) August 16, 2016