Serena cartoon sparks social media outrage

14 Septembre, 2018, 11:45 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Serena Williams at the US Open

The Herald Sun newspaper has doubled down on its support of Mark Knight and his controversial cartoon of Serena Williams.

The Aussie cartoonist at the centre of an global firestorm over a "racist" depiction of Serena Williams says his wife and daughter have been targeted with death threats.

The cartoon depicts Serena's confrontation with umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open final, showing the tennis superstar destroying her racquet with a child's dummy lying on the ground next to her.

Knight's cartoon was in response to Serena Williams' meltdown at the U.S. Open both during and after her defeat to 20-year-old Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open.

Despite the outrage, the paper reprinted the cartoon alongside unflattering caricatures of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attempting to portray the controversy as an effort to curtail free speech.

"Criticism of Mark Knight's Serena Williams cartoon shows the world has gone too PC & misunderstands the role of news media cartoons and satire", he said.

"A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark's cartoon depicted that", the editor said.

Perhaps Knight wasn't thinking about this at all when he drew the cartoon - it's believable - but when confronted with the criticism, he continued to lash out. Then Williams got a game penalty for the verbal abuse she directed towards Ramos.

Drawn by Fairfax illustrator David Pope, the cartoon replaces Williams with News' supremo Rupert Murdoch who, in turn, is now having a tantrum that his publication, the Herald Sun, isn't getting its way.

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Knight also rejected a suggestion that he would not draw a similar image of a man.

'I think freedom of speech is so important.I hope that she can see the amusing side of it and I hope she is here in January.

Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australasia, which publishes the Melbourne's Herald Sun, defended his cartoonist. "After a couple more detours, I landed on one with the "male" symbol as a tennis racket labeled 'sexism" that Serena was breaking.

Australian cartoonist Paul Zanetti weighed in saying it was the job of cartoonists to call out bad behaviour and not fall prey to an increasingly politically correct culture.

'There's intent there. To depict Serena not looking like herself, and her features to be overdrawn and over-exaggerated in such a way that evokes some of the historical negative images of black people over the last century.

'I drew her as she is.

"I don't believe them", the "Avengers" actor says. You are the best player at the end of this event and because of the turn of events with the crowd and the booing and everything, it wasn't the way - that was the outcome I was referring to.

"I'm here fighting for women's rights and women's equality", Williams told a post-match news conference.

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