NBC News is in the hot seat after it mistakenly posted a photo of stand-up comedian Kevin Hart on a story about Olympian Usain Bolt.
The legendary sprinter made the news Tuesday when he tested positive for COVID-19 days after his 34th birthday bash.
Readers spotted the error on NBC News’ story, which included a photo of Hart instead of Bolt, and took to Twitter.
“Is there nobody Black on the @NBC News social staff?” tweeted Marlon Walker, a journalist at the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “That is not @usainbolt. It’s @KevinHart4real. As journalists, our credibility is everything.”
Journalist Ernest Owens chimed in, tweeting to NBC News: “Don’t understand how y’all could have screwed this up so damn bad…oh wait, I might have the white, I mean right, answer.”
While some called the blunder an example of “systematic racism,” others laughed that the news organization mixed up Bolt, a 6-foot-5 eight-time track and field Olympic gold medalist, with the 5-foot-4 comedian and actor, who starred in the “Jumanji” franchise.
“I must of gotten really fast & tall overnight,” Hart responded on Instagram early Tuesday afternoon. “I want to take advantage of this moment & race anybody in the world… P.S this is Disrespectful on so many levels….All you can do is laugh. Maybe the Covid 19 shrunk his legs & torso.”
In a correction to the story, NBC News blamed the screwup on a “technical error.”
“In the content management system, a social image was not selected, and the system reverted to an image of Hart from an unrelated video,” according to an editor’s note.
A rep for NBC News declined to comment further.