An Australian caricaturist who was released online after publishing a cartoon & # 39; racist & # 39; of Serena Williams after her final defeat at the US Open has returned the blow to her critics.
The editorial artist of Herald Sun, Mark Knight, defended the controversial illustration, which was published in the Melbourne newspaper on Monday.
Regretting that the world has gone crazy, Knight said he simply did the raffle after witnessing the world's best tennis player spat at the mannequin.
& # 39; It's a caricature about bad behavior. It has nothing to do with race, "Knight told the 3AW radio station.
The Australian newspaper The Herald Sun published this cartoon by Mark Knight about Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka on Monday. He has been criticized by critics, but Knight said it was "a caricature of misbehavior." It has nothing to do with the race & # 39;
Knight (pictured) went to Australian radio on Monday to defend the controversial caricature, saying he simply made the draw after witnessing "the best tennis player in the world spat at the mannequin".
Knight responded to the criticism on Twitter by saying, "Do not bring the genre when it comes to behavior," along with a previous cartoon by Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios.
"Sorry, it has been taken by social networks and distorted so much."
Knight said he had tried to respond to comments made by people on social media "but they do not listen."
"He's (Williams) great at drawing, he's a powerful figure, he's very well-formed."
The Herald Sun also endorsed Knight in the face of international criticism.
The newspaper's publisher, Damon Johnston, said Knight's vignette had shown how "a tennis champion had a mega tantrum on the world stage."
"It has nothing to do with gender or race," he said in The Herald Sun.
Other Twitter commentators also defended the caricature, and one of them said that "he was not even racist with Serena Williams or anyone else."
Knight and his cartoon were backed by The Herald Sun and News Corp Australasia CEO Michael Miller
News Corp Australasia CEO Michael Miller also gave his support to Knight and the caricature.
"The criticism of Mark Knight's cartoon, Serena Williams, shows that the world has also left the PC and misinterprets the role of cartoons and media satire.The misbehavior in any sport must be summoned" wrote Miller on Twitter.
The cartoon shows Williams, 36, as a baby who has a tantrum on the court.
In the illustration, Williams is shown with enlarged lips and nose, and his cheekbones have been emphasized. A doll lies at his feet and he is shown jumping in the air, his fists clenched in frustration like a petulant child.
In the background, Naomi Osaka, the 20-year-old Haitian-Japanese athlete who won the game.
She is represented as slender, white and blonde, looking with hope towards the referee Carlos Ramos.
Knight had shared the cartoon on Twitter, as had the newspaper. However, he was quickly criticized by critics around the world who compared the image with a representation of black women of the Jim Crow era.
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
Knight (pictured), who won the Walkley Awards, the most important award in the Australian media, for his cartoons, lamented that "the world went crazy" in a radio interview about the cartoon
The National Association of Black Journalists in the United States said the illustration was "unnecessarily similar to a sambo."
"The art of editorial caricature is a visual dialogue about the problems of the day, but this caricature inaccurately shows two women of color at the US Open, one of the greatest stages of professional sports," the NABJ said. a statement.
Among the most dismayed critics was J.K. Rowling.
She tweeted: "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."
Kathy Griffin called it a "racist piece of shit" and said, "Just change your name to KKK cartoons."
Knight faced a tsunami of criticism on Twitter where users compared their cartoons to the illustrations of black women of the Jim Crow era.
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. It is clearly trying to send a racist message. Disgusting, "said another critic.
But one commentator said the caricature was not "even racist."
"This caricature, of the cunning Mark Knight, is not even racist for Serena Williams or any other person. Soooo … $ 100 for ANYONE who can #changemymind," they wrote.
Another comment on Twitter said: "In the future, cartoons will only make fun of white male conservatives," while one added: "Mark Knight is not racist and the cartoon of Serena Williams had zero racism."
Williams came to blows with referee Carlos Ramos after he gave a coaching violation in the second set. Then he penalized her for breaking his racket and took away a game when she was verbally abusive & # 39; of him calling him a sexist thief.
Neither the cartoonist nor a representative of News Corp Australia, owner of the newspaper, answered the questions of Daily Mail Australia on Monday morning.
Knight returned the blow to a critic on Twitter who accused him of annoying Williams for being a woman.
He directed them to a caricature he drew of bad tennis kid Nick Kyrgios and wrote: "Here is a caricature I drew a few days earlier when the Australian tennis player Kyrgios in the US Open behaved badly.
Do not incorporate gender when it comes to behavior. I will accept your apology in writing.
Williams' outburst on the court divided public opinion and caused a lot of controversy in the sport.
She accused Ramos of sexism for repeatedly penalizing her on Saturday. Her quarrel began when she cited her for a code violation, claiming she was being trained through the game.
Williams denied it furiously. His coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, has since pronounced himself to defend her, admitting that he was training her but claiming that she had not seen him.
Williams broke his racket after losing a shot. She exploded when Ramos took a point and said he would never have made such a harsh call if he had been a man
When Williams broke his racket on the court in frustration after losing a shot, Ramos penalized him with a point on the scoreboard.
She lashes out furiously, labeling him a "thief" and insisting that he would not have treated a male player so harshly.
The outburst cost him a complete game. Ramos called it an appropriate punishment for the "verbal abuse".
In subsequent press conferences, Williams stood firm for his reaction to his decisions and claimed that he had seen male players behave in worse ways without reprimand.
Many defended her, including former US Open winner Andy Roddick. The WTA also took his side.
Others, however, have disagreed with his claim that there is sexism in sports.
Novak Djokovic, who won the men's final on Sunday, said that although Ramos should not have pushed her to the limit, she does not believe there are different standards for male and female athletes.
Finally, Williams was fined $ 17,000 for the three violations.