Cartoonist Denies Depiction of Serena Williams at US Open Is Racist
Mark Knight has responded after his drawing in the "Herald Sun" went viral.
On Monday, Australian newspaper The Herald Sun ran a cartoon depicting Serena Williams destroying her tennis racket while US Open opponent Naomi Osaka spoke with a judge in the background.
After the images of the cartoon began to circulate online, Mark Knight’s cartoon was criticized for being racist as well as sexist.
Following the criticism, the newspaper’s editor, Damon Johnston, came out in support of Knight and the drawing. “[The] cartoon is not racist or sexist …. it rightly mocks poor behavior by a tennis legend … Mark has the full support of everyone [at the paper],” he tweeted.
“It had nothing to do with gender or race.”
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) September 10, 2018
Knight also defended his drawing. “The cartoon was just about Serena on the day having a tantrum. That’s basically it,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Despite the denials by Knight and Johnson, many have continued to denounce the cartoon.
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. https://t.co/YOxVMuTXEC
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 10, 2018
This is today's cartoon in the Australia's Herald Sun by Mark Knight. This is one of most overtly racist drawing I have seen in my life outside of the Jim Crow art in the U.S. From the jiggaboo caricature of Serena Williams to the white-washed depiction of Naomi Osaka.
— Shaina McGahee ✊🏿 (@smac0905) September 10, 2018
The National Association of Black Journalists has called a Herald Sun cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams racist and sexist; "I wonder if Australia is more accepting of colour-based discrimination…"https://t.co/Z8bNGyWo1X @MawunyoGbogbo @ChristineEmba @Edwards_Bre pic.twitter.com/mpwx675wwW
— ABC News (@abcnews) September 11, 2018
It appears as if the critiques have led Knight to delete his Twitter account as of now. However, the paper issued a different response.
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