It’s not every day you hear Ellen DeGeneres causing a ruckus. The happy go lucky host of her talk show, and the last acting host of the Oscars ceremony, unintentionally riled up Canadian Inuits with her Oscar selfie photo. The photo, which was tweeted out so much that it broke Twitter as well as set a new record, has angered members of Canada’s indigenous population.
During DeGeneres’ hosting duties the comedian decided to raise a reported $1.5 million for the Human Society of the United States, which just so happens to campaign against the hunting of seals. This move was frowned upon by certain indigenous population, and some have fought back by posting pictures called “Sealfies.” Instead of posing with seals, as one might expect after hearing the cutesy nickname, members are posting photos of themselves dressed in sealskin clothing.
According to Canoe.ca, the sealfie is an attempt to highlight the cultural and financial practice of clubbing seals, as Canada still sees this move as an ethical choice.
One member of the community has been very vocal about the practice of hunting seals is Sandi Vincent. The woman even took to the same social networking site that DeGeneres used to post the Oscar selfie. Instead of an Oscar selfie, Vincent posted her “sealfie” to Twitter on Thursday. Speaking on behalf of the other supporters of this seal hunting movement, Vincent said:
“The meat feeds families, which is important to an area where many households have identified that they face issues of food insecurity. In Inuit culture, it is believed seals and other animals have souls and offer themselves to you. Humanely and with gratitude we accepted this gift.”
In a tone that reads with a sense of nostalgia, Sandi spoke about her first seal hunt, which she took part in at the age of 15.
“My uncle placed some snow in the seal’s mouth when it was dead, so its soul would not be thirsty. If there is one word to describe seal-hunting, I would suggest ‘respectful.”
Ellen DeGeneres’ website highlights Canadian seal-hunting and has called it, “one of the most atrocious and inhumane acts against animals allowed by any government”.
Another supporter of the Inuit lifestyle took to Twitter to support the hunting of seals:
— Taha Tabish (@taabai) March 27, 2014
Ellen’s Oscar selfie became part of a huge donation when the company Samsung decided to donate $1.5 million to the host’s choice of charity if DeGeneres agreed to promote their Samsung smartphone by taking a celebrity filled selfie.
So far there’s no word from Ellen DeGeneres’ camp in regards to the sealfies.
[Image credit: Erwin Niemand / Shutterstock]