A cartoonist for the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun drew an image of Serena Williams that many have called racist. Both he and the publication then got blasted, and it all has to do with Williams’ confrontation with a chair umpire at the U.S. Open.
The artist’s name is Mark Knight, and he drew Williams in a minstrel style. The image also shows the tennis star extremely muscular, screaming and jumping on her racket.
Additionally, Naomi Osaka, Williams’ opponent during the match, was drawn as a white woman with blonde hair, although she’s of Haitian and Japanese descent.
Right away people like ESPN’s Jemele Hill sent a tweet and said the drawing is overtly racist.
“About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice,” she wrote.
Many others chimed in as well, including author and former NBA player Etan Thomas.
“It’s 2018. How is this cartoon considered okay?” he asked. “This is going back to the early Disney racist disgusting characterizations of Black people. Just dehumanizing. Then he made #NaomiOsaka into a white girl with blonde hair. This is not just an insult to #Serena but to all Black women.”
— Mark Knight (@Knightcartoons) September 10, 2018
A lot of people chose to leave their comments directly on Knight’s Twitter page, but he only responded to one person who accused him of being sexist. So far he hasn’t addressed anyone who called him a racist.
There were a lot of comments left on the Herald Sun’s Twitter page as well.
“Are you a media company for white supremacists and racists only or do you want subscribers from diverse backgrounds?” one person asked. “@Knightcartoons cartoon is unfit for publication. Your support of this blatant racism is not acceptable.”
Plus, someone who claimed to live in Australia said drawings like Knight’s are extremely commonplace.
“Just so you know, this passes for every day, regular, not at all racist cartoon commentary here in Australia,” he wrote. “We get buckets of this shameful dross piped out by the Murdoch press.”
At this time, the Herald Sun hasn’t apologized or removed the drawing. You can read some more comments below.
About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice 🤦🏿♀️ https://t.co/VM23b4XnlI
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 10, 2018
Not much of a difference is there MarKKKnight? pic.twitter.com/aOXfSz6PSn
— Ahvonne (@Ahvonnegarde) September 10, 2018
Your cartoon does play into racial stereotypes that have been repeated constantly about Serena Williams and women of color. The fact that you and the staff at the Herald Sun are insensitive to this history is a bigger issue.
— Sandra Renrick (@TVSandra) September 10, 2018
Your racist tweet is wrong on many levels! U & so many before have characterized Black womn especially strong Blk womn as being ugly & monsterous esp when speaking out against injustice & she DIDN’T throw a fit as depict-too much integrity on her part!where’s ur integrity ALL?😡
— jOrdan (@FashnActivists) September 10, 2018
Still using racist, mammy caricatures of Black women, I see.
— BAPKINS (@MiQL) September 10, 2018