People Are Roasting Leunig’s Awful Comparison Of The Anti-Vax Movement To Tiananmen Square

"I guess the Tiananmen picture is there to stop people asking, 'Why is Leunig drawing a fat Dalek?'"


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Controversial cartoonist Michael Leunig has been ripped into for comparing national vaccination efforts to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre.

He posted his latest creation on Monday, depicting a tank with the gun barrel replaced by a syringe, faced towards a solo man — meant to replicate the famous shot of the ‘tank man’ standing off the Chinese military in the name of free speech.

Naturally, Leunig captioned his comic ‘Mandate’. The Nine cartoonist has been labelled anti-vaxxer a number of times over the years, infamously comparing Victoria’s ‘no jab, no play‘ childcare measure to fascism in 2015, and taking swing at vaccine passports in August this year.

His poorly timed work came a day after the Hong Kong pro-democracy group responsible for arranging Tiananmen anniversary vigils for the last three decades were forced to disband after a crackdown on dissent in China, according to the Guardian.

“People were murdered en masse in June 1989,” Melbourne writer Elizabeth Flux wrote online. “For daring to speak up for a democratic future. For hoping for more freedom”. “To even try and compare that to being asked to get vaccinated for the good of your community, for the good of your own health…it is not even in the same [realm]”.

Leunig’s inflated sense of superiority to pedal the anti-vax movement as courageous once again comes off as insensitive, privileged, and disrespectful.

Despite his best efforts to be taken seriously when he’s aged out of relevancy, the fact that he has absolutely no lack of faith in his audience, and had to spell out what he was trying to say, shows he’s not as clever as he thinks he is. You can easily imagine the towering pile of scrunched up papers after his many failed attempts at how to best convey the message, before giving up and simply whacking the scaled-down reference image in the corner.