Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt is almost six and a half feet tall. Kevin Hart, popular American actor is just 5'4" in height. Yet, to the shock of everyone, leading American network NBC put out a tweet where they posted the photograph of Hart in place of Bolt's when informing about the latter's infection with COVID-19.
"Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, tests positive for Coronavirus," the story was headlined. But in the picture, the man seen was not the nine-time Olympic gold medalist but the famous American comedian. Hart wasn't amused by this botch-up. He also took to social media and lashed out with sarcasm at NBC.
"I must of (sic) gotten really fast & tall overnight," Hart said on Instagram. The well-known actor also said that he will "take advantage of this moment and race anybody in the world." Going on with the joke, the man who recently appeared in 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' wrote that he is "no longer doing comedy due to my Olympic training schedule" and "All you can do is laugh. Maybe the COVID-19 shrunk his legs & torso."
Allegations of racism
But in a serious comment, he targeted the leading American network for this goof-up. "P.S. This is disrespectful on so many levels." Apparently, Hart finds elements of racism in this mistake. As expected, there was a strong backlash against the tweet as many people blasted the news agency for the error.
Allegations were also leveled by others who said this is a classic example of racism. Since the two men do not share much in terms of their features and are extremely unlikely to be mistaken for each other, the error could only be attributed to their skin color.
"Hey, @NBCNews, did you post a photo of Kevin Hart with an article on Usain Bolt because you believe all black people look the same? This is utterly racist," one tweet read. Others saw the funny side of the mistake. "We tried to take a photo of Usain Bolt but he was too fast so here's Kevin Hart," wrote someone on the micro-blogging site.
In response to the criticism, NBC corrected the mistake eventually, and also added a note explaining why the mistake was made. They attributed it to a 'technical problem.' It seems, at the moment, what happened was that the picture associated with the story didn't appear, so a photograph from another story was loaded onto the tweet. Hopefully, the matter ends with that.