J.K. Rowling Calls Out Austrailian Tabloid Over Serena Williams Cartoon

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was not impressed by Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight’s depiction of Serena Williams losing at the U.S. Open.

“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,” Rowling tweeted.

Rowling was responding to Knight’s tweet that read, “My toon in today’s @theheraldsun on #SerenaWilliams @usopen”.

On Sunday, the Herald Sun ran a cartoon by Knight showing Serena Williams losing to Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open. The cartoon has been criticized as racist and sexist for a number of reasons, including the exaggeration of Williams’ physical features and the whitewashing of Osaka.

Aussie author Tom Taylor wrote about the illustration on Twitter, saying, “Damn. My city’s “Herald Sun” newspaper published more vile, racist trash today,” alongside a real photo of Williams congratulating Osaka at the end of their match.

Williams was docked a point after the umpire believed her coach was sending her signals during the match. She then proceeded to break her racket and got into an argument with the umpire about how his call was rooted in sexism, noting that many male players often do not receive the same treatment. Despite all of this, Williams and Osaka were amicable after the match.

But it appears that this isn’t the first time Mark Knight’s cartoons have been called into question for their sexist and racially charged messaging. Another Twitter user noted that “anti-black racism seems to be [Knight’s] kink,” adding that the Herald Sun is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the same man who owns the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Fox News network.

“This is how Herald Sun cartoonist, Mark Knight depicted African teens in Australia,” the user tweeted, showing more of Knight’s handiwork.

The Herald Sun has yet to remove the cartoon.

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