The Grey's Anatomy actress posted a tweet on Friday (23Dec16) which applauded TV network A&E's decision to change the name of their controversial upcoming Ku Klux Klan documentary from Generation KKK to Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America.

But Ellen found herself facing backlash, after one social media user called her out for overstepping her bounds as "a privileged white woman" for including emojis of a black hand giving a thumbs up and a pair of black hands clapping in her post.

In turn, Ellen apologised to anyone she may have offended and fired back a series of tweets, responding to various Twitter users.

"What's crazy is how angry everyone is... this is all about emojis people. It was a really positive thing a&e did... now that's not the focus fault for responding," she wrote. "But sad to see racism is still alive and well on all sides."

When a user told her that white people cannot experience racism, she responded, "Ummm I've been called a white b***h and countless other things 50000 times today what would you call it?"

After another user wrote to her, "SHUT UP, WHITE LADY," to which the 47-year-old reminded her 1.23 million followers that her producer husband Chris Ivery is black, and that the pair are parents to two daughters.

"You do realize...being married to a black man and having black children can make you a target from racist white people right? That's a thing," she added.

The star concluded her Twitter response by reminding her followers that racism comes in "different forms" and added that she plans to continue using her platform to promote discussion around race and diversity.

Since Ellen originally tweeted, A&E have cancelled the programme after the network learned that the show’s producers, from a third-party production company, made cash payments to “facilitate access” to participants.