Cartoonist Mark Knight sparks outrage with his portrayal of Serena Williams as an angry, hulking black woman with big lips flipping out at the U.S. Open in a blatantly racist cartoon. He transformed her Japanese-Haitian opponent Naomi Osaka into a tiny white woman with blond hair.
That’s while the tiny chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, is visibly shaken as he begs Osaka to let her win. Um, gee, where have we seen a black woman portrayed like that before? Jim Crowing today, Mr. Knight? The angry black mammy with big lips who threatens the tiny white chair umpire and the delicate white woman. Give me a break.
— Mark Knight (@Knightcartoons) September 10, 2018
The fact that Knight works for Australia-based Herald Sun newspaper, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, tells you all you need to know about why the newspaper felt it could get away with this racist cartoon.
The final of the women’s match at the U.S. Open devolved into a verbal altercation after Ramos hit Williams with three code violations, which resulted in a $17,000 fine.
It would seem that this isn’t the first time the Australian cartoonist has played on racial stereotypes:
Same cartoonist, same national newspaper, different day. pic.twitter.com/Ooy2OhzAB3
— Derek Troy-West (@_d_t_w) September 10, 2018
Twitter hit back hard:
Damn these images are fucked up. Got Serena like some raging mad muscular big lipped mammy. Look like some shit from the 1800s. The other girl is white? Uh no. You not even creative with your racist images.
— mongo slade (@themongoslade) September 10, 2018
Thank you for making @serenawilliams look like a silverback gorilla & Osaka look like a thin, blond, country club, socialite. You’ve made Serena’s point about the racism, sexism, & double-standard that she experiences brilliantly.
— KKCH (@howardsan1) September 10, 2018
Hey Mark bruv you should totally submit your latest masterpiece to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in the USA. I think it would be very well received!
— Steve Hewlett (@StevieHewla) September 10, 2018
Same stuff. Different day. pic.twitter.com/alEH8qav1v
— Hannah Drake (@HannahDrake628) September 10, 2018
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of Williams’ behaviour, I really don’t like that cartoon at all.
Why is Naomi Osaka suddenly transformed into a white, blonde player?
Why is Carlos Ramos white too?
And why are Serena Williams’ facial features distorted like that?
— James Elder (@jamesofputney) September 10, 2018
I suppose cartoonist are supposed to be provocateurs, and drawing blatantly racist images does stir « controversy » I guess. So slow golf-clap for that. But I won’t be putting my eyes, or my dollars, to any publication that features your work. You see, I have OPTIONS. ✌🏽
— Pam Keith (@PamKeithFL) September 10, 2018
What a disgraceful depiction of both Black women. One to show as a crazed animal the other to show as ‘pure as a blond white girl.” This is so offensive!
— Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) September 10, 2018
Are they considered a racist AF scribbling with a side of sexism & erasure, 2018; or a peddler’s attempt at recycled shit, circa 1850 and 1950?
Thank you for your time.
— HD1920/1965VetsVote (@HD4safety_USAF) September 10, 2018
— Megan Michaud (@JMeganMichaud) September 10, 2018
Seriously. Is this the result of some twisted, racist, misogynist, Rorschach test for cartoonists? Is this truly how Mark Knight saw Serena when she stood up for herself? & Osaka suddenly has blonde hair? Ugh…
— J Brokaw (@Julesitter) September 10, 2018