Aussie cartoonist under fire for 'sexist' Williams sketch

Sports | 12 Sep 2018

An Australian cartoonist faced criticism for portraying Serena Williams using "racist and sexist tropes".

Mark Knight's caricature, published in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper, showed a butch and fat-lipped Williams throwing a temper tantrum at the US Open. Williams was seen jumping up and down having spat out a dummy as the umpire asks tournament winner Naomi Osaka "can't you just let her win?".

The detractors included Harry Potter 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 behavior," he said.

Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australasia, which publishes the Herald Sun, said: "Poor behavior in any sport needs to be called out."

But others pointed out that Haitian-Japanese Osaka was portrayed as petite and feminine with jet blonde straight hair - in real life she has dark curly hair with blonde streaks and is taller than Williams.


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