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Ellen DeGeneres denies she's racist after Usain Bolt tweet

By Annie Martin
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Ellen DeGeneres denies she's racist after Usain Bolt tweet
Ellen DeGeneres at the People's Choice Awards on January 6. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Ellen DeGeneres spoke out Tuesday after facing accusations of racism over a recent tweet.

The 58-year-old television personality asserted she's the "furthest thing" from racist after posting a photo of herself riding on Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt's back the day before.

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"I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am," she tweeted to her 61 million followers Tuesday.

DeGeneres had captioned the Photoshopped meme, "This is how I'm running errands from now on. #Rio2016." Many called the image racist for showing a white woman riding on the back of a black man.

"@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'?" one social media user wrote.

"If I ignored US history & current climate of police lynching us, this 'joke' would be hilarious," another person added.

Ellen DeGeneres faced criticism after posting a meme of herself riding on Usain Bolt's back. Photo by Ellen DeGeneres/Twitter

Bolt, who appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2015, re-tweeted DeGeneres' photo. The original image of the Jamaican athlete running was taken during his gold medal-winning 100m sprint Sunday.

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