Australia paper defends Serena Williams cartoon despite outrage


An Australian newspaper defied global criticism and allegations of racism on Wednesday when it reprinted a controversial cartoon on its front page depicting U.S. tennis star Serena Williams having a temper tantrum at the U.S. Open. He insists that his cartoon wasn't about race, but about Williams' behavior during her confrontation with umpire Carlos Ramos during the U.S. Open final.

Serena Williams was not happy with the chair umpire in the US Open final. "The world has just gone insane".

In the controversial cartoon, Williams is shown with grotesque features including an oversized nose and lips, and is pictured jumping up and down with a broken racket and a pacifier, likely insinuating that Williams acted like a baby having a temper tamptrum during the final.

Serena Williams hugs Naomi Osaka, of Japan, after Osaka defeated Williams in the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in NY.

MELBOURNE, Australia 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.

"Mark has the full support of everyone here".

But he could have made his joke without distorting Williams's face to the point that she was unrecognizable, with only the tennis court and her outfit to indicate who she was supposed to be.

Fellow cartoonists and Herald Sun editors, however, have come to the defense of Knight, slamming the backlash as evidence that the world has become too "PC" (politically correct).

The Washington Post ran a searing post about Knight's cartoon, calling it "racist" and reminiscent of the era of racial segregation in the United States.

Williams is one of a small number of black female tennis players and is the most frequently drug-tested professional woman in the sport. "All he has done as cartoonists do is tell the truth". She added, "He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.' For me it blows my mind". I think that's what's resonates with people so much about Serena's journey, and explains the hysterical reaction against her.

The Herald Sun, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, ran the image again along with a handful of other illustrations of world leaders and the country's own politicians.

"The September 10 cartoon not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures of both women, but Williams' depiction is unnecessarily sambo-like", it said. I think the entire cartoon is just over the top, but the racism aspect of it is really what makes it repugnant.

'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.