The cartoonist behind a racist depiction of Serena Williams in the US Open final erased her Twitter account on Tuesday when her newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch tried to defend the controversial illustration.
On Tuesday, The Herald Sun published an article titled & # 39; Herald Sun endorses Mark Knight's cartoon about Serena Wiliams & # 39; in which the editor of the newspaper Damon Johnston said: "It has nothing to do with gender or race. This was about a bad sport that was teasing & # 39;
Knight, who returned the blow to a Twitter critic who called him a sexist but said nothing to the tens of thousands of people who called him a racist, erased his profile after going to an Australian radio program to defend his case.
On Monday, he had shared the image proudly by writing: "My toon in the Sun of the Herald of today".
In a matter of minutes, it was flooded with criticism from people around the world who rated the image as "disgustingly racist". and "truly vile".
The Herald Sun has defended Mark Knight's caricature of Serena Williams at the US Open, saying it has nothing to do with race and that he was simply representing a world-class athlete having a tantrum on the court
The newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch tweeted this on Tuesday in defense of the image. He also published three articles that claimed that Knight's image "had nothing to do with race" and, on the other hand, only pointed to Williams' behavior on the court.
The cartoon depicted Williams as a baby who had a tantrum with a pacifier spit at his feet, fists clenched and eyes closed.
It was not the characterization of her as a baby that offended her, but rather the enlarged size of her lips and nose, which many said were reminiscent of Jim Crow's illustrations of African-American women.
Others were outraged by the fact that their opponent, Naomi Osaka, 25, Haitian-Japanese, was represented by Knight as slender, white and blonde.
But despite the tens of thousands of complaints, neither Knight nor the newspaper acknowledged any crime.
Knight, defending his illustration, told the 3AW radio program: "It's a caricature of misbehavior. It has nothing to do with race.
"Sorry, it has been taken by social networks and distorted so much."
In a separate interview with ABC, she said: "I drew her as an African-American woman.
Knight, who proudly shared the illustration on Twitter on Monday, has deleted his account
The CEO of News Corp Australasia, Michael Miller, supported the image
& # 39; She is powerfully built. She wears these extravagant costumes when she plays tennis.
& # 39; It's interesting to draw. I drew her the way she is, like an African-American woman.
"So, this whole thing is that I'm a kind of racist, and I turn to the racial cartoons of the past, it's invented, it's not there. & # 39;
The newspaper published three separate articles in support of Knight on Tuesday.
One was an editorial that said: "The world has gone mad officially when a famous cartoonist is condemned by the hordes of social networks to represent a famous sports star throwing a little edifying tantrum."
The cartoonist Mark Knight said he drew Williams as she is; an African-American woman & # 39; Powerfully built & # 39;
Australian cartoonists lined up to defend him and said his critics had misinterpreted his art.
His comments celebrating it were promoted by the newspaper and included the claim that the global outrage in response to the image was a sign that the & # 39; PC Brigade & # 39; I went too far.
Among those who were enraged and disgusted by Knight's caricature was J.K. Rowling.
"Well done by reducing one of the best living athletes to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great athlete into a faceless hero," he said Monday.
Kathy Griffn called it a "racist piece of s ** t" and said, "Just change your name for KKK cartoons."
Nikki Minaj was equally furious.
She challenged Knight directly, saying on her radio show: "Our culture and our community loves this woman's body, by the way.
You drew this woman trying to be funny or looking like you were trying to make fun of her or something like, are you out of your mind?
"I am totally in favor of people having freedom, I am not cheating in terms of saying that you are not allowed to express yourself, but I feel that you did everything possible to make it look bad, physically bad, and this is a sexy woman
Knight faced a tsunami of criticism on Twitter where users compared their cartoons with Jim Crow's illustrations of black women
Williams and Osaka appear in the photo after their game. Critics asked why the "whitened" cartoonist Osaka, who is Haitian-Japanese, and why the cartoonist exaggerated the characteristics of Williams
"We no longer allow this to be done on our own, it has to stop." She showed grace, she showed passion, there's a difference between passion and a f ****** & # 39; merger & # 39;
& # 39; Why the shit is that everyone can be passionate, but black women? Why? Give me a break.
I just want to know why you drew this legend in our community, making it look like this? As a kind of animal that has a tantrum.
Others considered it "repugnantly racist", "really vile" and "an insult to both women".
"Within 100 years, this cartoon will not look any different than the old Jim Crow images, or the newspaper cartoons drawn by Jack Johnson, Mark Knight has just made his way into the history books," said one critic.
Others compared it with the cartoons and memorable objects of Mammy Black that are synonymous with the Jim Crow era.
They were just as outraged by his description of Williams as what they were of him. "White Osaka."
& # 39; And who is the white girl? His opponent is Haitian and Japanese.
You're clearly trying to send a racist message. Disgusting, "said another critic.