Offensive cartoon drawings

February 19, 2009 in Comment

The issue of offence in drawn communication has reared up again in the United States where a cartoon by Sean Delonas featuring a dead chimpanzee has been used to comment on the passing into law of President’s Obama’s national economic recovery package.

The drawing is causing a degree of outrage because of its real, or imagined, racial undertones. Bloghorn thinks offence or amusement tends to be in the eye of the beholder for every drawing.

UPDATED: A spokescartoonist for the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation,which runs Bloghorn, said:

Freedom of speech and image production is worth defending, but with this comes a responsibility not to gratuitously offend. Racial stereotypes are a particularly difficult area and can easily appeal to the the ignorant, prejudiced and intolerant.

UPDATED: Friday 20th February. The New York Post, the paper which published the Sean Delonas cartoon has made a formal apology for it. Context to the issue can be found here. Cartoonist Tony Auth has a view here

2 responses to Offensive cartoon drawings

  1. Unfortunate, yes, but the cartoon is actually parodying a current news story where a violent chimp was shot by police. I think that needs to be made aware before final judgement is passed. On reflection, it was probably unwise of the cartoonist to link the two, but at least there was some logic behind the link.

    This was the statement from Col Allan, editor-in-chief of the Post:

    “The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.”

  2. Its a lazy cartoon. Obvious enough link, but lazy precisely because those who seek offence don’t have to look too hard. There’s no Danish extraction anywhere in the cartoonist’s family, is there ?

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