By Alan Dawson
Mark Knight, the Herald Sun cartoonist responsible for the controversial drawing that portrayed tennis icon Serena Williams as an angry baby having a temper tantrum during the 2018 US Open final, denies accusations of racism and sexism. ‘The world has just gone crazy,’ he said.
- Serena Williams was turned into a controversial cartoon on Monday.
- Williams lost the 2018 US Open women’s final on Saturday after getting slapped with three code violations on court.
- Her behaviour was lampooned by Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight, who drew Williams as an angry baby with exaggerated features like oversized lips, a big nose, and wiry hair.
- Knight denies the cartoon is racist and says “the world has gone crazy.”
The cartoonist who turned Serena Williams into an angry baby throwing a tantrum during the US Open final claimed his cartoon isn’t about race and accused the world of going “crazy.”
Mark Knight published a cartoon in Australian newspaper The Herald Sun on Monday that showed Williams with caricaturized features like oversized lips, a big nose, and wiry hair. She is seen jumping up and down by a broken racket and a pacifier.
The cartoon is a response to Williams’ behaviour during the 2018 US Open women’s final on Saturday where she was slapped with a hat-trick of code violations late in the match for receiving coaching, smashing her racket, and arguing with the chair umpire.
She eventually lost in straight sets to 20-year-old rival Naomi Osaka, who was also drawn. Twitter users pointed out that she was depicted as a white woman with blonde hair despite being Japanese.
Here is the cartoon:
“I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting,” Knight said in the Herald Sun.
“It’s been picked up by social media in the US and my phone has just melted down … The world has just gone crazy.”
He added that the cartoon is about poor behaviour, not race, and thinks he has been “unfairly criticised” on social media.
“Three days before I had drawn a cartoon about Nick Kyrgios being led off by the ears, like you used to do with your children,” he said.
“The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behaviour on the day, not about race.”
Of his social media commentators, he added: “I tried to reply to these people but they just don’t listen. On any given day you are a hero and on any given day you are a pariah.”
Damon Johnston, the Herald Sun editor, tweeted his support of Knight and the cartoon.
He said Mark Knight’s “cartoon is not racist or sexist” and that it “rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend.”
Johnston added: “Mark has the full support of everyone at the Herald Sun.”
Original Post – by Pulse