Australian cartoonist criticized over 'racist' Serena Williams sketch

Don Cheadle Says He Doesn't Believe Serena Cartoonist, You Know It's Racist!

Cartoonist Mark Knight put together a cartoon depicting Serena Williams acting like a child at the U.S. Open for Australia's Herald Sun.

The Aussie cartoonist at the centre of an global firestorm over a "racist" depiction of Serena Williams says his wife and daughter have been targeted with death threats. He called out the cartoon for choosing to illustrate Naomi Osaka, who is Haitian-Japanese, as a "blonde, fair-skinned damn-near white woman whose complexion is the same as the umpire's".

It published the cartoon and headline, "Welcome to PC World", on its front page for September 12.

Beneath it, the newspaper offered this commentary: 'If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very tiresome indeed'.

Knight, who has a reputation for controversial cartoons, was pilloried from far and wide, including by a member of the US Congress and a large portion of the 22 000 people who commented on his Twitter post showing the drawing.

Meanwhile, Martina Navratilova, an 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, says Williams was wrong in her outburst at the US Open women's final even though she agreed there is a double standard.

The cartoonist responded to criticism by pointing out that it was only about Williams' behavior on the court and said those pointing out it was racist and sexist were misinterpreting the whole thing.

Williams was fined $17,000 for her reaction to the penalties.

JK Rowling and Nicki Minaj were among a "tidal wave" of critics to denounce the cartoon as "racist and sexist" after it appeared in the paper on Monday.


Mark Knight's interpretation of Serena Williams.

He told the Herald Sun: 'The cartoon was just about Serena on the day having a tantrum. During the match she was given three code violations by Carlos Ramos - the first for receiving coaching, the second for racquet abuse and the third for verbal abuse of the umpire. You are the best player at the end of this event and because of the turn of events with the crowd and the booing and everything, it wasn't the way - that was the outcome I was referring to.

"World's gone mad when cartoonist is targeted for saying tennis player spat the dummy-so sick of PC BS as too many confect an issue to be outraged about-that's what this is about". "Poor behaviour in any sport needs to be called out".

"When I drew that cartoon, I wasn't thinking of racial politics in America".

"I'm here fighting for women's rights and women's equality", Williams said at a news conference after the match.

"When I drew President Obama, I always focused on his eyebrows, his chin, his ears and his mole".

"What we have is a bunch of people who get paid to publicly exercise their implied freedom to speech then whining when people disagree with what they have had the privilege of being paid to say", she added.

"Mark has the full support of everyone here".

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