The Australian newspaper that found itself at the center of international controversy after publishing a racist and sexist caricature of Serena Williams has doubled down on its support for the cartoonist.
The Herald Sun reprinted Mark Knight’s depiction of Williams on its front page the day after the cartoon caused a global twitter storm.
Knight’s cartoon shows the tennis legend with an exaggerated face and body jumping on her smashed racket with a pacifier nearby. In the background of the original, a blond opponent representing Naomi Osaka faces a chair umpire who pleads: “Can you just let her win?”
“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,” the tagline adds.
Knight, who suspended his Twitter account on Tuesday, has 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.”