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Ellen DeGeneres defends 'racist' Bolt meme after backlash

TV APPEARANCE: Usain Bolt has appeared on The Ellen Show

POPULAR TALK show host Ellen DeGeneres has defended herself after receiving backlash for posting an edited photo of herself riding on the back of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

The 58-year-old tweeted the picture to her 61.5 million followers – before suffering a backlash from outraged users demanding she delete the “racist garbage".

A photograph of Bolt, seemingly smiling over his shoulder at his opponents as his legs pedaled furiously to a victory in the men's 100m semifinal, went viral Monday (Aug 15), and DeGeneres tweeted a Photoshopped version of the original image from her account that showed her piggybacking on Bolt's back, with the caption, "This is how I'm running errands from now on."

Many Twitter users were quick to point out the more negative connotations of showing a white woman riding a black man as a form of transportation, while others defended DeGeneres, pointing out the fact that she has been a vocal activist against discrimination.

The controversy built overnight until DeGeneres thought it was necessary to address the issue herself, tweeting, "I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am."

Bolt has yet to address the meme.

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