Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Mark Knight's cartoon of Serena Williams US Open rant sparks outraged

A Mark Knight cartoon depicting Serena Williams has sparked outrage on Twitter after it was compared with racist illustrations of the Jim Crow character and images of black people in the Sambo books from the early 20th century. 
Published in Herald Sun newspaper, the cartoon’ s depiction showed the tennis star as overweight , big-lipped and bushy- haired , stomping on her tennis racquet at the US Open final against Naomi Osaka on Saturday .

In Mark Knight ’ s cartoon, the umpire is shown telling a blonde , slender woman, meant to be Osaka , who is actually Japanese and Haitian – “Can you just let her win?”

The National Association of Black Journalists called the cartoon repugnant , adding, “not only does it exude racist, sexist caricatures of both women , but Williams ’ depiction is unnecessarily sambo - like. The art of editorial cartooning is a visual dialogue on the issues of the day , yet this cartoon grossly inaccurately depicts two women of colour at the US Open , one of the grandest stages of professional sports” .

The Washington Post ran a searing post about the cartoon, calling it “racist ” and reminiscent of the era of racial segregation in the US.

Speaking to ABC , Knight refused to apologise , saying, “I ’m upset that people are offended, but I’m not going to take the cartoon down. I can't  undraw the cartoon. I think people have just misinterpreted.

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