Ozzie Newspaper Behind Serena Williams Cartoon Goes Big On Front Page

Cartoonist Denies Serena Williams US Open Depiction is Racist

Cartoonist Denies Serena Williams US Open Depiction is Racist

The cartoon fuelled a global debate over Williams' controversial defeat by Japan's Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open women's singles final in NY on Saturday. "The art of editorial cartooning is a visual dialogue on the issues of the day, yet this cartoon grossly inaccurately depicts two women of color at the U.S. Open, one of the grandest stages of professional sports".

Williams was thwarted in her bid for a record-tying 24th Slam singles crown in losing to Japan's Naomi Osaka.

The National Association of Black Journalists said the cartoon was "repugnant" on many levels.

"I don't think that Mark Knight sat down with his 64 Crayola super pack with hatred in his heart for Serena Williams. I honestly believe that, in Knight's mind's eye, that is actually how he sees Serena - as a hulking, brutish simian rampaging in front of the world", Harriot said.

"Knight draws facial features reflecting the dehumanizing Jim Crow caricatures so common in the 19th and 20th centuries", commentator Michael Cavna wrote. "Here is the story of a white man who had never met an assertive black woman like me".

Knight, who has a reputation for controversial cartoons, was pilloried from far and wide for his portrayal - including by a member of the US Congress and a large portion of the 22,000 people who commented on his Twitter post showing the drawing.

While the newspaper and Knight, in his comments in the paper, stood by the cartoon, it appeared the social media outrage was too much. "There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished - and not just in tennis", Navratilova said. "All he has done as cartoonists do is tell the truth". The truth presented here is of quite a different order, but it nevertheless expresses something we need to pay attention to because it takes us to the very heart of the unsafe times we live in.

Knight was criticised in some quarters for being "racist and sexist".

Among their celebrity critics is Nicki Minaj, J.K. Rowling, Kathy Griffin.

The front page, which also features cartoons of Australian politicians as well as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has a headline that reads "Welcome to PC World". But unfortunately the cartoon has been I guess picked up and distorted.

"However, it was a reminder that when a black woman, especially a dark-skinned black woman, shows emotions - she is quickly reduced to stereotypes such as the "angry black woman" or likened to animalistic imager, y to say that we aren't seen or allowed to be seen as full human beings, who can show a range of emotions".

The Herald Sun, owned by a News Corp subsidiary, published a defense of its cartoonist on the home page of its website, quoting Knight as saying: "The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behaviour on the day, not about race".

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