Ellen accused of racism for 'riding' Usain Bolt in controversial pic

  • 17/08/2016
Ellen DeGeneres riding Usain Bolt (Getty / Twitter.com)
Ellen DeGeneres riding Usain Bolt (Getty / Twitter.com)

TV personality Ellen DeGeneres got more controversy than she bargained for after posting a tongue-in-cheek image on Twitter, lauding Usain Bolt's lightning-fast speed.

The Photoshopped image showed the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Ellen host riding on the Jamaican sprinter's back piggy back-style, with the caption: "This is how I'm running errands from now on."

It sparked a flurry of criticism from people who found the image troublesome and thought DeGeneres was being demeaning to Bolt.

"So riding on his back like a mule, a horse as some form of property is fun to you. Ok," commented Twitter user @MiQL.

"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," wrote @MikeAllen_47.

Other commenters jumped to DeGeneres' defence, saying people had misunderstood her playful intention with the image.

Bolt - who won the 100m Olympic title for the third time this week - seemed to approve of the picture by retweeting it himself.

DeGeneres later responded to her critics, saying: "I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am."