Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Australian Newspaper Republishes Controversial Cartoon of Serena Williams

Australian Newspaper Republishes Controversial Cartoon of Serena Williams

The Herald Sun newspaper has doubled down on its support of Mark Knight and his controversial cartoon of Serena Williams.

According to Knight, his family members were being abused on social media, following his "racist" caricature of Serena, which, as he said, was just about bad behaviour, not at all about race or gender.

Serena Williams argued with the chair umpire, September 8, during a match against Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the women's finals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in NY.

In the fallout, Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight took to the proverbial canvas to portray the 23-time grand slam winners' meltdown, but has been hit with much criticism following the publication.

In the background a line judge is asking Williams' opponent, Japan's Naomi Osaka, if she could just let Williams win to end the tantrum.

Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling led the charge against the cartoon yesterday, tweeting, "Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman (Naomi Osaka) into a faceless prop".

Williams was "simply outplayed and lost her temper in a very big and ill-disciplined blow-up", the column said.

Yesterday, the Herald Sun used its entire front cover to try and defend the cartoon, suggesting those who objected to it were PC and are all out to make our lives "very boring indeed".

The newspaper also posted a news story on the reaction to the cartoon, arguing that it was mostly people outside of Australia who disapproved of it.

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Knight then added: "She's (Williams) great to draw - she's a powerful figure (and) she's strongly built".

Knight's social media accounts, meanwhile, have disappeared.

"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".

The cartoonist "completely missed the point of why she was upset", De Luca told The Associated Press. "I'm not going to say, 'Oh, I can't draw that because that's a no-go area.' What does that say about the way the world's going?"

The Herald Sun has leapt to the defence of Mark Knight after his illustration was slammed by many as "racist".

And the US-based National Association of Black Journalists said the cartoon was "repugnant on many levels".

I've lived there, and watched people of colour be denied entry to bars for dress code reasons, only to watch white peeps stroll in moments later wearing shorts and flip flops.

"The Sept. 10 cartoon not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures of both women, but Williams' depiction is unnecessarily sambo-like", it said in a statement.

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