Celebrities can be shameless self-promoters — and sometimes it's necessary — but comedian Chelsea Handler is in hot water on social media these days for plugging her just-released travelogue, Uganda Be Kidding Me, whenever 12 Years a Slave took home an Oscar on March 2.
"Congratulations #lupita To pre-order #ugandabekiddingme go to http://amzn.to/1pS4qpG #Oscars," she wrote, posting to the official Twitter account of the Huffington Post, which she had taken over for the night.
"Congratulations #12yearsaslave Go to Africa or buy #ugandabekiddingme http://amzn.to/1de1ka9 #aheadofthecurve #Oscars," she tweeted later.
Considering the only similarity between her comedic book and the somber film is, um, the continent of Africa, Twitter users have deemed her tweets "racist" and "disgraceful."
She also joked that Angelina Jolie had adopted Lupita Nyong'o and Sidney Poitier.
The 39-year-old — who also hosts E!'s Chelsea Lately — may have realized the controversy later in the night, tweeting the hashtag "#imsorry" in her final post on the account.
Today (March 4) on Good Morning America, Chelsea responded to the backlash: "People are mad at me all the time. If I was worried about that, then I would be spending a lot of time online. I'd rather be a little bit more productive."
Then she gave a mantra we've heard countless times before: "I'm not racist. I date a lot of black people, so that would be a difficult thing to explain to them."
Sorry, Chelsea — we believe that you're a good person, but that's not a valid excuse. People who date people of other races can still do racist things. If we had tweeted something that was so widely-perceived as problematic (if not racist), we would own it, apologize, and do better in the future.
Source: Good Morning America