Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Herald Sun doubles down on Serena Williams cartoon deemed racist

Tim Clayton- Corbis via Getty Images Tim Clayton- Corbis via Getty Images
Cassandra Castillo | 14 September, 2018, 11:44

The artist behind a controversial and widely criticised cartoon of tennis superstar Serena Williams defended his depiction of her meltdown at the US Open and said it had nothing to do with race.

An Australian newspaper cartoonist has been labelled a racist following his cartoon depicting Serena Williams during the recent US Open final.

While Williams is shown having a tantrum, Osaka, 20, is seen reasoning politely with the umpire who asks: 'Can you just let her win?'

Wednesday's front page of the Herald Sun included a reprint of Knight's caricature of Williams along with cartoons of other high profile people including Donald Trump, Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson.

"She's powerfully built, she wears these outrageous costumes when she plays tennis - she's interesting to draw", Mr Knight said.

Despite evidence to the contrary, a mob of Twitter users would go after Knight declaring him and his cartoon racist.

The Herald Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, first published the caricature of Williams with exaggerated lips, stomping on her tennis racket on Monday.

The backlash against Knight - and Australia more generally - intensified over 24 hours as the image made global headlines - and nowhere more fiercely than in the US. "I think that's probably the context of the conversation".

"Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop", said J.K. Rowling.

More news: High surf from Florence means no cars on St. Johns County beaches

Instead, Williams was penalised by Ramos for three code violations during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Japan's Naomi Osaka on Saturday: one for getting coaching signals; one for breaking her racket, which cost her a point; and one for calling the chair umpire a thief, which cost her a game.

Those cheeky wags over at Fairfax have had some fun at rival News Corp's expense, publishing a cartoon yesterday afternoon that spoofs the ongoing controversy surrounding the Herald Sun's controversial Serena Williams' cartoon.

"World's gone mad when cartoonist is targeted for saying tennis player spat the dummy-so sick of PC BS as too many confect an issue to be outraged about-that's what this is about".

"These were the images used to justify African enslavement and racial segregation in the past; they are still used to control black lives in the present", she says.

In 2016, Bill Leak was slammed for a cartoon that implied Indigenous fathers were alcoholics, poor parents and irresponsible, again painting a whole culture with historic and hurtful race-based stereotypes.

"I'm upset that people are offended, but I'm not going to take the cartoon down", Knight said, according to the Guardian.

But others, including Herald Sun editor Damon Johnstone, said the cartoon simply highlighted Williams' poor behaviour.

"I don't know how you draw an African-American person without making them look like an African-American person", he said.

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