Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper came under fire for artist Mark Knight’s cartoon depiction of Serena Williams’ incident at the U.S. Open, which many see as racist.
The photo went viral online, with celebrities like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling blasting the photo on Twitter, writing, “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.”
Jemele Hill also added that the photo is “About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice.”
Herald editor Damon Johnston backed Knight’s cartoon in a statement, which read, “A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that. It had nothing to do with gender or race.”
Knight also reacted himself, stating, “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 was interesting,” he said. It’s been picked up by social media in the US and my phone has just melted down. The world has just gone crazy.”