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Cartoonist attacked for negative depiction of Serena Williams

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Cartoonist attacked for negative depiction of Serena Williams

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Kadrisha Bizati, Staff Reporter

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Serena Williams, an American professional tennis player and mother, was illustrated in a cartoon that has been receiving a profusion amount of backlash, the cartoon was drawn by Mark Knight, an Australian cartoonist. It was released on Sunday, September 9th in the Herald Sun.

On Saturday, September 8th, Serena Williams competed against Naomi Osaka in the US Open Finals for women’s tennis. Williams was accused of getting coached, as well as, verbally abusing the umpire and breaking a tennis racket. She ultimately lost the match.

The day after the match, a cartoon was drawn by Australian cartoonist Mark Knight, in which received a great deal backlash. The negative response is due to Serena being depicted in a racist and sexist light. While receiving backlash, he was defending his cartoon saying that it had nothing to with race, but with her poor behavior and he refused to apologize.

According to Tennis World USA, Knight said: “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 it was interesting.”

While Knight says that the cartoon has nothing to do with race or sex, the media and internet say differently. Most people interpret this cartoon as depicting Williams’ as an angry woman of color.

Many people do not see this cartoon the way Knight sees it. Especially Serena’s husband, Alexis Ohanian.

“I am truly perplexed to learn this editor of the Australian newspaper behind the blatantly racist & misogynistic cartoon of my wife is a “Male Champion of Change” 🤔 Is this supposed to be satire, too? @malechampions @LizBroderick https://t.co/QAq25HAhTo https://t.co/jOuYojCE3P” said her husband on Twitter.

Ohanian is not happy with the way his wife his portrayed in this cartoon. He and many others see this cartoon as racist and are saying that Knight could have drawn her without being racist.

“Quick drawing of #SerenaWilliams. Needed to get the image of that gross cartoon out of my head. And, huh, a white man can draw her without being racist.” says anonymous Twitter user.

The cartoon also has Naomi Osaka drawn as a white blonde female, despite the fact that she is half Haitian and half Japanese.

Furthermore, many people believe this cartoon compares a stereotypical woman’s behavior to a child’s temper tantrum: getting angry when they don’t get what they want.

Naomi Osaka was recently on The Ellen Show, but she did not say anything about the cartoon. But when asked about if she knew what happened on the court, she said she did not pay attention and turned her back as she was taught to from a young age. Williams still has not spoken out on the cartoon.

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Cartoonist attacked for negative depiction of Serena Williams