Australian paper defends Serena Williams cartoon despite outrage

Cartoonist slammed for perceived racist depiction of Serena Williams

Don Cheadle Says He Doesn't Believe Serena Cartoonist, You Know It's Racist!

An Australian newspaper has defended their own cartoonist who has been caught up in controversy, after he was slammed for his depiction of Serena Williams yesterday, following her outburst during the US Open final.

Don Cheadle isn't buying the Herald Sun's explanation for its Serena Williams cartoon one bit. telling TMZ Sports the newspaper DEFINITELY knows the drawing is racist as hell.

Melbourne-based tabloid The Herald Sun published a drawing by editorial cartoonist depicting Williams throwing a fit on the court and destroying her racquet after the 23-time grand slam champion lost in the final match of the us open to Naomi Osaka.

The cartoon was intended as a lampoon of the tennis star's angry exchanges with chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the U.S. Women's Singles final in NY on Saturday.

Today's front page of the Herald Sun depicts previous Knight cartoons of Australian politicians and world leaders, including former prime minister Tony Abbott depicted as Hannibal Lecter with the caption "Banned: Big ears, cannibal mask", and a topless Kim Jong-un with the words "Blocked: Belly fat, Asian stereotype".

On Monday the cartoon by Mark Knight, who has since deleted his Twitter account, was called racist, as it depicted Williams with stereotypically oversized features, throwing a tantrum.

A number of people criticized Knight's cartoon as being racist, including Essence magazine editor Vanessa K. De Luca.

Other US media pointed out that Osaka was portrayed as petite and feminine with blonde straight hair - in real life she has dark curly hair with blonde streaks and is taller than Williams.

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The cartoon was also criticised by the veteran civil rights campaigner Reverend Jesse Jackson, who said it was "despicable", and Melbourne-born basketball star Ben Simmons.

"I felt Mark Knight's cartoon was too reminiscent of images drawn from the 1920s and '30s". I think people have just misinterpreted.

This is The Herald Sun's shocking front page on Wednesday which complains about the global outrage over its Serena Williams cartoon.

"It rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend", Johnson tweeted. Williams called Santos a "thief" for the coaching ruling and in response Santos issued a third code violation, handing the game to Osaka.

"[It] not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures of both women, but Williams' depiction is unnecessarily sambo-like", the organisation said in a statement. She added, "There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces".

"I don't believe them", the "Avengers" actor says.

"Mark has the full support of everyone". You are the best player at the end of this event and because of the turn of events with the crowd and the booing and everything, it wasn't the way - that was the outcome I was referring to.

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