Aussie newspaper defends cartoon on Serena Williams with front page illustration

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]emember, how a cartoon on Tennis superstar Serena Williams on Monday stirred huge controversy around the world? The Australian newspaper Herald Sun which published the caricature has responded to critics by printing the same cartoon along with several others on their front page.

Cartoonist Mark Knight created international headlines with his drawing of Williams, during the US Open women’s final, which showed her stomping on her racket. It was called racist because of the way he drew the 23-time grand slam winner’s lips and hair.

Knight, and the editor of Herald Sun, Damon Johnston, argued that it was a depiction of the tennis star’s behaviour and had nothing to do with race.

They doubled down in Wednesday’s newspaper, printing a cover with the headline “Welcome to PC World”, that featured several of Knight’s cartoons with reasons why they could also be branded offensive. The newspaper wrote: “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”.

Knight, who suspended his Twitter account on Tuesday, 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.”