Australian Press Council Concludes Glaringly Racist Cartoon About Serena Williams Was Not Racist And The World's Just 'Gone Crazy'
Of course it wasn't...
February 25, 2019 at 7:05 pm
An offensive cartoon published by The Herald Sun depicting tennis great Serena Williams as a sore loser was found to be not racist, according to CNN.
In September, Williams lost in the U.S. Open finals to rising star Naomi Osaka. During the contentious match, the 23-time Grand Slam champion shared her frustrations about the questionable officiation practices with the umpire several times. Consequently, she was fined $17,000 for her actions.
Despite an enormous amount of respect many had for Williams' decision to speak her mind, one artist in Australia felt the 37-year-old acted out of order and published a distasteful cartoon of Williams' reaction.
In Mark Knight's drawing, Williams is seen angrily jumping on top of her racket while a blonde and questionably white-washed caricature of Haitian-Japanese Osaka is being asked by the umpire to "just let her win."
— damon johnston (@damonheraldsun) September 11, 2018
This received appropriate backlash online, and Knight doubled-down on his claim the sketch had nothing to do with race:
"The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behavior on the day, not about race. The world has just gone crazy."
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The Australian Press Council agrees with him because it found nothing disrespectful about his cartoon.
"(The Herald Sun) said it wanted to capture the on-court tantrum of Ms. Williams using satire, caricature, exaggeration and humor, and the cartoon intended to depict her behavior as childish by showing her spitting a pacifier out while she jumps up and down," the press council said in a statement obtained by The Guardian.
Per The Hill, the media watchdog group also addressed the objection about Williams' embellished appearance and instructed critics to consider the drawing "in the context of the history of caricatures based on race."
"Concern was expressed that the cartoon depicted Ms. Williams with large lips, a broad flat nose, a wild afro-styled ponytail hairstyle different to that worn by Ms. Williams during the match, and positioned in an ape-like pose," the council said."
"It was also noted that the cartoon should be considered in the context of the history of caricatures based on race and historical racist depictions of African-Americans."
So, there we have it — another non-apology for disrespecting one of the greatest athletes of all time.
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