The Australian newspaper that found itself at the center of international controversy after publishing a racist and sexist caricature of Serena Williams has doubled down on its support for the cartoonist.
The Herald Sun reprinted Mark Knight’s depiction of Williams on its front page the day after the cartoon caused a global twitter storm.
— damon johnston (@damonheraldsun) September 11, 2018
Knight’s cartoon shows the tennis legend with an exaggerated face and body jumping on her smashed racket with a pacifier nearby. In the background of the original, a blond opponent representing Naomi Osaka faces a chair umpire who pleads: “Can you just let her win?”
“If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed,” the tagline adds.
Just cannot get my head around the psychology where - even if the editors of the Herald Sun genuinely believed the cartoon was not meant to be racist in the first place - once they realised it upset a huge number of people around the world, they aggressively double-down on it.
— Richard Carroll (@Richard_Carroll) September 11, 2018
World: It’s racist to depict #SerenaWilliams as a hideous, barbaric, full-lipped and ape-like sportswoman.
Herald Sun: We are the victim, so here is our response with a front page of whataboutisms. pic.twitter.com/Ezd9jaDzjd
— Amro Ali (@_amroali) September 11, 2018
Knight, who suspended his Twitter account on Tuesday, has defended the cartoon and remains firm that the depiction had “nothing to do with gender or racism at all.”
“I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the U.S. Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting,” he told the Herald Sun.
“The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behavior on the day, not about race. The world has just gone crazy.”
Herald Sun - stuck in 1908 while most of the rest of the country has moved on. https://t.co/uFNbZmSViz
— Bunyip (@WrittenOnWater) September 11, 2018
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.