Ellen DeGeneres has been forced to deny that she is racist after she experienced a backlash over a tweet she posted. The comedian shared a Photoshopped image of herself riding on the back of Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, following his success at Rio, and captioned it: "This is how I'm running errands from now on. #Rio2016."
Some of her 61.5million followers failed to understand her humour and branded the meme insensitive and "racist garbage". They left comments on Ellen's page, demanding that she take the photo down.
Usain Bolt completed the men's 100m final in 9.81 seconds
Other fans stepped out in support of Ellen, writing: "It's not meant to offend anyone, it's just a statement about how he's the fastest man alive." Another remarked: "If the fastest man was white, she would have Photoshopped herself on him as well so it's not a race issue."
Usain himself retweeted the photo, seeming to say that he saw the funny side of the meme.
Following the social media backlash, Ellen clarified: "I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am."
The photo of Usain grinning as he took part in the 100m sprint went viral following his performance.
Ellen DeGeneres was forced to deny that she is racist
The Jamaican sports star completed the men's 100m final in 9.81 seconds, taking home gold and becoming the first athlete to win the event three times at the Olympics.
At the Beijing 2008 tournament, Usain broke the then-world record, running the race in 9.69 seconds. He improved his time at London 2012, crossing the finishing line in 9.63 seconds.
The 29-year-old is now set to compete in the men's 200m semi-finals on Thursday, having breezed through the heats this week.