Australian cartoonist under fire for 'racist, sexist' Serena Williams sketch

AFP
September 11,2018

An Australian cartoonist has come under withering criticism for portraying tennis superstar Serena Williams using -- what Harry Potter author JK Rowling described as -- racist and sexist tropes.

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SYDNEY: An Australian cartoonist has come under withering criticism for portraying tennis superstar Serena Williams using -- what Harry Potter author JK Rowling described as -- "racist and sexist tropes".

Mark Knight´s caricature, published in Melbourne´s Herald Sun newspaper on Monday, shows a butch and fat-lipped Williams jumping up and down on her broken racquet at the US Open.

Williams´ heated exchanges with an umpire at the tournament final this week have stirred the tennis world.

She was found guilty of code violations and fined US$17,000 -- raising allegations that there are double standards for male and female players.

Williams was thwarted in her bid for a record-tying 24th Slam singles crown in losing to Japan´s Naomi Osaka.

In the cartoon the umpire is seen saying to Osaka "can´t you just let her win?".

Knight, who has a reputation for controversial cartoons, was pilloried from far and wide, including by a member of the US Congress and a large portion of the 22,000 people who commented on his Twitter post showing the drawing.

The detractors included author JK Rowling, who said: "Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop."

Knight responded to the criticism by pointing out that he had drawn an unflattering portrayal of Australian male tennis star Nick Kyrgios "behaving badly".

"Don´t bring gender into it when it´s all about behaviour," he said.



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