Pop Culture

Is This Ellen DeGeneres Joke Racist?

Many are saying it is, but only you can decide.

Ellen DeGeneres loves photoshopping herself into cultural touchstones. It’s kind of a corny bit, with occasionally amusing results. For example, here she is with Kim Kardashian, unable to dress her friend:

When you're like my friend has nothing to wear

A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on


It seems like Ellen might have trouble seeing past her delight in her own antics. On Monday, she posted a somewhat controversial new photoshop job and is in big trouble. Ellen probably saw this meme of Usain Bolt running and thought it would be hilarious to have the Olympic winner carry her everywhere. Because he’s so fast. Get it? But she probably should have looked at the implications of that idea a little harder:

Many think it’s totally racist to show a famous black man carry a famous white woman around like he’s her personal human car. They sure tweeted at her about it, writing stuff like, “So riding on his back like a mule, a horse as some form of property is fun to you...Ok,” and “You thought it'd be funny to post a pic of yourself riding on the back of a Black man? Nope. Delete this racist garbage.”

Since this is a story about racism, there are also plenty of people on the other side, dismissing the picture as a joke:

Ellen tweeted on Tuesday, “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am,” but that’s not really an apology, and the picture is still up. So I guess she definitely doesn’t have a problem with it. Do you?

[Photo: Getty Images]


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