This Racist Cartoon Somehow Made It Into A Major Newspaper, Because Australia I Guess
"Just wondering how many people were involved in the chain of decision making, to allow this cartoon to be printed"
Somehow, in the year of Our Lord 2020, a wildly offensive cartoon has managed to sneak its way into the pages of one of our major newspapers. Imagine our shock.
Monday’s edition of The West Australian featured a ‘Modesty Blaise’ comic strip in which two white women hide from a group of men, including one who is Indigenous.
The women refer to the Indigenous man using several racist slurs, with one line saying the man “will smell us out quicker than a bloodhound”.
That apparently didn’t raise any red flags with anyone before print.
Just wondering how many people were involved in the chain of decision making, to allow this cartoon to be printed in the @westaustralian newspaper in 2020? I’m literally devastated this has been printed and our children have access to this. Honestly wish I was surprised though!! pic.twitter.com/eK3rHUCU1E
— Shelley Ware (@ShelleyWare) June 29, 2020
— 🤦🏽♂️ (@BundjalungBud) June 29, 2020
Last night the paper issued an apology, which explained that the comic strip page was supplied by an outside agency.
“Today, The West Australian newspaper ran a ‘Modesty Blaise’ cartoon that contained offensive racial stereotypes that have no place in our newspaper,” their statement read.
In fact, it’s the very kind of marginalisation and bigotry The West Australian and its reporters have been trying to stamp out.”
This is interesting phrasing about a cartoon that got a place in your newspaper. pic.twitter.com/7pDaDf1lb7
— Geoff Lemon 🍋 (@geofflemon) June 29, 2020
‘Modesty Blaise’ is a British comic strip which charts of the adventures of the titular character, a young woman with a criminal past.
The fact that this particular cartoon was run in parallel to discussions about putting old, problematic content under scrutiny has raised eyebrows, to say the least.
While the cartoon in question was drawn back in 1981, it’s concerning that kind of content still managed to find its way into the pages of a statewide paper without anyone batting an eye — until getting called out for it.
They’ve been roundly slammed for the cartoon, and have said they are reviewing whether to public that particular comic strip in future.
“The West Australian has been publishing Modesty Blaise as a cartoon strip for decades. That is now under review and ‘Modesty Blaise’ will not be published in the meantime,” they said.
The West Australian has been praised in some circles for its coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests that have erupted across the globe. The paper, unlike many of its Australian counterparts, has often featured the voices of people of colour in coverage, and has given front page coverage to the Black Lives Matter cause.
Something incredible is happening at The @westaustralian newspaper. A thread. 1
— Alex Mann (@alexsmann) June 14, 2020