It’s probably never a good idea for a White person to Photoshop themselves riding the back of a Black person, or to caption the image: “This is how I’m running errands from now on.” Ellen DeGeneres and her staff just learned that lesson after they tweeted to her 61.4 million followers a doctored picture of her riding the back of Jamaican Olympian, Usain Bolt.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 15, 2016
A lot of folks were disgusted by the image and took to social media to express their disdain.
@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
@TheEllenShow This is so gross. Fire whoever did this.
— dai for night (@daibyday) August 15, 2016
— iyonah (@iyonah) August 15, 2016
@TheEllenShow honestly this is offensive.
— Jazz (@JazzleDazzler) August 15, 2016
@TheEllenShow despite its intentions this pic has ugly connotations comin from a rich white lady
— emily (@emilypttrsn) August 16, 2016
But in the end, Ellen tweeted out a statement about herself that a lot of us already know to be true: “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.” And while the comedienne is not a person one would classify as a Donald Trump supporter, the image was, at minimum, ignorant and culturally insensitive. We hope she, at least, recognizes that.
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