Is the Herald Sun’s cartoon of Serena Williams racist?

Tim Clayton- Corbis via Getty Images

Tim Clayton- Corbis via Getty Images

A cartoon of Serena Williams that has been widely condemned as a racist depiction of the tennis great has been partially reprinted on the front page of the Melbourne-based newspaper that initially published it.

The cartoon was intended as a lampoon of the tennis star's angry exchanges with chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the U.S. Women's Singles final in NY on Saturday.

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".

Knight, who deleted his own account after being inundated with complaints from around the world, has not commented on it.

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

"A few days beforehand I had actually drawn a cartoon of Australian Nick Kyrgios and his bad behaviour at the US Open, so I'm not targeting (Serena)".

Knight labelled the outcry against his cartoon as a sign that the "world has just gone crazy".

Osaka was portrayed as petite and feminine with jet blonde straight hair-in real life she has dark curly hair with blonde streaks and is taller than Williams.

This doesn't mean you can't ever draw Serena or people of colour without being labelled a racist, when there are plenty of non-racist cartoons and comics depicting black people, from the "Judgment Day" story in EC's Incredible Science Fiction, to Black Panther, to Real Deal Comix to Fat Albert.


She also criticised the depiction of Osaka as a "faceless prop" in the background of the image.

The cartoon was criticized for using racist and sexist tropes.

"I drew her as an African-American woman".

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.

"It rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend", Johnson tweeted.

Knight's illustration references the moment Williams smashed her tennis racket on the court in anger after umpire Carlos Ramos penalized her for a coaching violation. "She's a lot of fun to draw and I didn't draw her with malicious racial intent". "I think it's a matter of having a conversation with the two guys and saying let's cut it out, let's slow it down, and then perhaps not understanding how they can have the same conversation with the females".

The Herald Sun defended the drawing of their artist Mark Knight, which had Williams leaping over her broken racket with a baby's dummy next to it.

The paper and cartoonist in question could have easily apologized for any offense caused, said it wasn't intended that way and admitted that it went too far, and moved on.

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