Ellen DeGeneres slammed for photo with African children

goss 08/06/2018

Ellen DeGeneres is getting some serious heat for posting photos alongside African children during a trip to Rwanda.

The TV personality took to Instagram to document her travels in Africa with wife Portia de Rossi, where she is celebrating her 60th birthday, as well as beginning work on a wildlife conservation project.

DeGeneres shared pictures of hiking, eating and visiting animal sanctuaries during her trip; but one image in particular has triggered hostile responses.

"Thank you to all of the amazing people I met on my trip, who helped make it so special," DeGeneres captioned a photo of her posing with a group of local children.

The TV personality has been accused of posting "poverty porn" and having a "white saviour complex", by allegedly using underprivileged children to appear empathetic and generous.

"Y'all have to take a pic with the 'poor' children to prove you visited Africa... It's sick!" one Twitter commentator wrote.

"That image - solitary white person, posing with kids, with no mention of the location beyond "Africa" - isn't particularly helpful or cute," another added.

Some asked the Ellen host to put herself in their shoes: "Africans don't travel to your country to take pictures with your half-a-million homeless people," one reply read.

"Please do better. We are no one's charity."

However, many fans have rushed to defend DeGeneres, reminding critics she spent much of her African vacation setting up The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund, which wife De Rossi gifted to her as a birthday present.

"That's reality people!" one fan wrote on Instagram.

"She has a kind heart. All you judgemental pricks step away from your screens and make [the world] a better place as Ellen is trying to do every single day....."

Another agreed: "You are out of your mind. There is nothing wrong with that photo."

DeGeneres has yet to respond to the controversy.

It's not the first time she's landed in hot water for posting photos with people of colour. In 2016, she faced a similar backlash over a photo of her 'riding' Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.