PHOTO: from twitter
Now playing
01:48
Usain Bolt's smile cracks up the Internet
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (L) and Chair of IOC Inquiry Commission into alleged Russian doping at Sochi 2014 Swiss Samuel Schmid attend a press conference following an executive meeting on Russian doping, on December 5, 2017 in Lausanne.
Russia were banned from the 2018 Olympics on December 5 over state-sponsored doping but the International Olympic Committee said Russian competitors would be able to compete "under strict conditions". / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (L) and Chair of IOC Inquiry Commission into alleged Russian doping at Sochi 2014 Swiss Samuel Schmid attend a press conference following an executive meeting on Russian doping, on December 5, 2017 in Lausanne. Russia were banned from the 2018 Olympics on December 5 over state-sponsored doping but the International Olympic Committee said Russian competitors would be able to compete "under strict conditions". / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:05
Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
02:36
3 'Fierce Five' Olympic gymnasts allege abuse
ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Dave Ryding of Great Britain in action during the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships Men
ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Dave Ryding of Great Britain in action during the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships Men's Slalom on February 19, 2017 in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Now playing
03:03
Britain's skiing sensation: Dave Ryding
PHOTO: Mattel
Now playing
01:07
First Barbie with hijab modeled after Olympian
PHOTO: Reuters
Now playing
01:02
Zika-proof uniforms for Olympic athletes
orig 5 memorable moments from the winter olympics in sochi russia npr_00001029.jpg
orig 5 memorable moments from the winter olympics in sochi russia npr_00001029.jpg
Now playing
01:46
Sochi Olympics: 5 moments to remember
An Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador, on February 3, 2016. Health authorities continue their efforts to eliminate the mosquito, vector of the Zika virus, which might cause microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome in unborn babies. AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOS  / AFP / Marvin RECINOS        (Photo credit should read MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
An Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador, on February 3, 2016. Health authorities continue their efforts to eliminate the mosquito, vector of the Zika virus, which might cause microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome in unborn babies. AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOS / AFP / Marvin RECINOS (Photo credit should read MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:16
Brazil introduces mosquito killer billboards
ws3533 Doctor olympics zika disaster intv_00001608.jpg
ws3533 Doctor olympics zika disaster intv_00001608.jpg
Now playing
02:31
Doctor calls for Olympics postponement
zika pesticide test_00001027.jpg
zika pesticide test_00001027.jpg
Now playing
00:48
Test shows pesticide can't kill mosquitoes
is rio ready darlington pkg_00000413.jpg
is rio ready darlington pkg_00000413.jpg
Now playing
02:49
Will Rio be ready for next year's Olympics?
testing water rio olympics pkg darlington _00010521.jpg
testing water rio olympics pkg darlington _00010521.jpg
Now playing
02:00
Olympic sailors not daunted by sewage in Rio waters
pkg darlington brazil olympic pollution_00015717.jpg
pkg darlington brazil olympic pollution_00015717.jpg
PHOTO: Reuters
Now playing
02:28
Dead fish litter Rio's Olympic rowing, canoeing courses
2015-08-09 17:51:26
2015-08-09 17:51:26
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:55
Wacky sports you WON'T see at the 2016 Olympics
russia doping nyt reaction chance lkl_00003326.jpg
russia doping nyt reaction chance lkl_00003326.jpg
Now playing
06:47
Whistleblower's lawyer on ban of Russian athletes
Now playing
02:08
Rio residents fight evictions ahead of Olympics

Story highlights

New: Ellen tweeted Tuesday about the controversy

DeGeneres was joking about Bolt's Olympic win

Some were offended while others defended her

(CNN) —  

What was meant as a joke about Usain Bolt and Ellen DeGeneres swiftly went awry on Twitter.

On Monday, the daytime talk show host’s official Twitter account tweeted a doctored image of Ellen riding the back of the gold medalist.

The photo is the now famous one of him smiling as he heads to winning the men’s 100m race at the Olympics in Rio.

The tweet’s caption from Ellen reads “This is how I’m running errands from now on.”

Some on Twitter found the image less than golden, with cries of racism and insensitivity in joking about a white woman riding the back of a black man.

But others defended DeGeneres and pointed out that she and Bolt, who has appeared before on her show, are friends.

One person tweeted, “If Usain was white, y’all wouldn’t care. We all know Ellen isn’t racist & didn’t mean any harm by that. Stop it.”

On Tuesday DeGeneres responded to the controversy by tweeting “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.”

The Ellen Show initially followed the first tweet with one featuring a video of Bolt’s appearance on the show where Bolt raced a then 8-year-old viral video star, Demarjay Smith.

Like Bolt, Smith is Jamaican. The youngster acts as a personal trainer for other kids and told the talk show host he believed he could beat the champion in a race.

“Heres something you don’t see very often-@UsainBolt losing a race. This was 1 of my favorite moments from last season,” Ellen’s tweet said.