Newspaper defends 'racist' Serena Williams cartoon

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Newspaper defends 'racist' Serena Williams cartoon

An Australian newspaper has defended its decision to publish a controversial cartoon of Serena Williams with a special front page attacking the "self-appointed censors" who found it racist and sexist.

Those cheeky wags over at Fairfax have had some fun at rival News Corp's expense, publishing a cartoon yesterday afternoon that spoofs the ongoing controversy surrounding the Herald Sun's controversial Serena Williams' cartoon.

"The cartoon is about Serena, it was about her poor behavior".

Despite evidence to the contrary, a mob of Twitter users would go after Knight declaring him and his cartoon racist.

The Herald Sun reported on Tuesday that Knight had been mentioned on Twitter almost 74,000 times following the cartoon's publication.

The cartoon shows a player who's supposed to be Williams, squat, muscular, with a squinting and big-lipped face lifted straight out of Little Black Sambo cartoons, furiously stomping on a broken racket as the tennis official asks a slim, blonde player (presumably Osaka) if she'll just let her opponent win.

Serena, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, smashed her racquet and called the umpire a "thief" and a "liar" while she was losing Saturday's final to Haitian-Japanese Naomi Osaka.

Author J.K. Rowling wrote on Twitter: "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".

An indignant Williams emphatically defended herself, denying she had cheated.

Later this week, it was no longer only Williams and Ramos being criticized for their conduct, but also an Australian cartoonist for his depiction of the incident.

"I don't know how you draw an African-American person without making them look like an African-American person", he said. Knight further added that he had been unfairly criticised on social media.

Meanwhile, former women's world number one player Billie Jean King said the decision to punish Williams is an example of the double standards at play in tennis.

Meanwhile, cartoonist Mark Knight used an interview on 3AW yesterday to again defend his depiction of Williams.

The cartoonist "completely missed the point of why she was upset", De Luca told The Associated Press.

"I drew her as she is". Backlash against the image included disgust from Melbourne politician Rohan Leppert, who wrote: "The racist vilification of Melburnians from the Herald Sun continues apace".

Critics say Knight's cartoon only reinforces historically negative stereotypes about African-American women and is akin to comedy sketches using blackface. "I think the only solution to that is for ordinary people to fight and retaliate back much louder, so they can hear us from the back of their stadiums".

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