News Corp Stands By Serena Williams Cartoon


After the Herald Sun published a racist cartoon this week caricaturing U.S. Open women's finalists Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka - sparking a swift worldwide backlash - its creator, Mark Knight, said that "the world has just gone insane".

The Aussie cartoonist at the centre of an worldwide firestorm over a "racist" depiction of Serena Williams says his wife and daughter have been targeted with death threats.

"Mark Knight's cartoon depicting Williams destroying her racquet and jumping up and down, with a dummy spat nearby, mocked the star player for her behaviour", the editorial insisted.

The cartoon was intended as a lampoon of the tennis star's angry exchanges with chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the U.S. Women's Singles final in NY on Saturday.

For its Wednesday edition, the Herald Sun filled its front page with cartoons, including the contentious Williams image, along with likenesses of United States president Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Mark Knight's caricature, in Melbourne's Herald Sun on Monday, shows a fat-lipped Williams throwing a tantrum at the US Open.

The New York Times wrote that the cartoon reflected a "wider pattern" of ignorance from Australians around race issues, saying the conversations in Australia were not as "robust and layered" as in the US. Australia, Michael Miller, said criticism of Knight, "shows the world has gone too PC".

Knight said it was a cartoon about poor behaviour.

"I felt Mark Knight's cartoon was too reminiscent of images drawn from the 1920s and '30s".

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"I think it's disgusting".

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

'I drew her as an African-American woman, she's powerfully built, she wears these outrageous costumes when she plays tennis - she's interesting to draw.

She ranted at umpire Carlos Ramos when he accused her of being coached from the sidelines and was docked a game after smashing her racket.

In 2016, Bill Leak was slammed for a cartoon that implied Indigenous fathers were alcoholics, poor parents and irresponsible, again painting a whole culture with historic and hurtful race-based stereotypes.

"I drew her as she is. But I'm a cartoonist and I comment on all topics".

Williams is one of a small number of black female tennis players and is the most frequently drug-tested professional woman in the sport. "I honestly believe that, in Knight's mind's eye, that is actually how he sees Serena - as a hulking, brutish simian rampaging in front of the world", Harriot said.

Cartoonist Paul Zanetti, a friend of Knight, said cartooning was under threat from political correctness, and the Herald Sun front page "spelt out exactly where we are at this point".