Ellen DeGeneres faces backlash for 'racist' Usain Bolt tweet

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Caption
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is in the hot seat over a recent tweet depicting Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. Critics say the tweet featuring the fastest man in the world comes off as racist.

The image is a still shot from Bolt’s 100-meter dash, in which he can be seen with a near smile as he barrels to the finish line.

>> Read more trending stories

​The show opted to Photoshop an image of DeGeneres on Bolt's back with the caption, "This is how I'm running errands from now on."

ExploreRelated: What time does Usain Bolt run tonight?

Twitter users pounced, accusing the show of ignoring Bolt’s efforts and minimizing him to the status of an animal, or "mule," for DeGeneres. Some even demanded the show fire whoever is responsible for the tweet.

Fans of the show countered the criticism, saying DeGeneres is not racist.

Related: Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt just lost a race to an 8-year-old1

This isn't the first time the show has been criticized. Some felt a DeGeneres skit about an upcoming Nicki Minaj sitcom made fun of the rapper's body. Critics called it a "modern-day minstrel show."

An hour after the initial tweet went up, the show sent another tweet featuring Bolt. This time, the tweet included a video of Bolt's appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" last season.

DeGeneres responded to the backlash the next day after the tweet, saying, "I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am."