An Australian newspaper cartoonist has been labelled a racist following his cartoon depicting Serena Williams during the recent US Open final.
“It had nothing to do with gender or race.”
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) September 10, 2018
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.
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 vile, racist work.
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) September 10, 2018
To disrespect Serena Williams, a 23 time Grand Slam Champion, in this light is truly disappointing. As an Australian, I am truly disappointed #morethananathlete
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) September 10, 2018
This is Jim Crow-racist. He Sambo’d Serena Williams. I’m a bit surprised that @Knightcartoons didn’t include a watermelon. For those unfamiliar with the history invoked here, read about the coon caricature. https://t.co/ffmrk76MRM
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) September 10, 2018
Despite the reaction, the Herald Sun has stood by the cartoon, showing how Knight has depicted a variety of powerful popular figures in the past.
Following the stoush over their unacceptable Serena Williams cartoon, the Herald Sun's decision is to keep digging into a world of whataboutery. pic.twitter.com/MlW8isMMr0
— Alistair Coleman (@alistaircoleman) September 11, 2018
Interestingly, Knight’s twitter account, where he posted the cartoon, has since ceased to exist. It is not clear if Twitter has censored him or he deactivated account himself.