Ellen DeGeneres is embroiled in controversy after posting a so-called “racist tweet.”
The Photoshopped image shows the talk show host riding Usain Bolt’s back. The image was posted after the athlete won his third consecutive gold medal in the 100-metre race at the Summer Games.
“This is how I’m running my errands from now on. #Rio2016,” read the tweet that was sent to the star’s 61.5 million followers.
The message outraged many who said the tweet trivialized the journey and success of the Jamaican athlete. Some called for whoever posted the tweet on DeGeneres’s account to be fired.
Still, many others have said the tweet isn’t by definition racist (people are using the term incorrectly), and that saying it is sets a disturbing precedent.
DeGeneres finally responded to the controversy on Twitter on Tuesday saying, “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.” The original post featuring the edited photo of Bolt and DeGeneres is still live on her Twitter page.
She went on to share a video of Bolt on her show.
“Heres something you dont see very often-@UsainBolt losing a race. This was 1 of my favorite moments from last season,” it read.
Bolt has yet to respond to the controversy, but he did retweet the meme apparently in approval of it.
— With files from Reuters
WATCH: The morning show talks about Ellen’s tweet