Ellen Degeneres Tries to Hurdle Racism Accusations After Olympics Tweet Controversy
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 15, 2016
Ellen Degeneres definitely isn’t in contention for gold, after an Olympics-related meme she posted on Twitter got critics more fired up than the event’s ceremonial torch.
Last night (August 15), the comedian and talk show host posted a doctored photo in which she’s riding on the back of living Olympics legend Usain Bolt. The original photo, which has recently gone viral, finds the track and field athlete winning the Rio Games’ 100-meter sprint — his third gold in a row in the event — by a landslide on August 14.
— CNN (@CNN) August 16, 2016
Degeneres’ tweet, conversely, wasn’t so successful, and stirred up controversy among her following. Some fans found the image, which Degeneres captioned “This is how I’m running errands from now on,” borderline racist, and claimed it perpetuated a sense of white entitlement.
@TheEllenShow 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"?
— Jon Snow-ratio (@Jhoratio) August 15, 2016
— 777-9311 (@MiQL) August 15, 2016
— JDegarson (@johndegarson) August 16, 2016
@TheEllenShow despite its intentions this pic has ugly connotations comin from a rich white lady
— emily (@emilypttrsn) August 16, 2016
Others, conversely, saw controversy as contrived, and said it was clear that Degeneres meant no harm by her joke.
— R (@fourfivehours) August 15, 2016
@PlayDagger4Me Merica, Land of the Offended.
— Coach ☕️ Leath (@jamesleath) August 16, 2016
Either way, Degeneres isn’t ready to back down. Earlier today, she insisted that there isn’t a racist bone in her body, and the image and tweet remain on her timeline.
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
It’s not the first time Degeneres been accused of being racially tone-deaf. In October, she spoofed Nicki Minaj‘s forthcoming TV show with a sketch in which characters all had exaggeratedly huge asses.
What do you make of Ellen’s tweet — is it offensive, or is the backlash exaggerated? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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