Monday, October 25, 2021

Popular Australian Cartoonist Michael Leunig axed from prime spot at The Age over ‘offensive’ vaccine toon

Newspaper cartoonist Michael Leunig has been axed from his prized position in The Age over an image comparing resistance to mandatory vaccination to the fight for democracy in Tiananmen Square.

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In an image posted to his Instagram account, Leunig — whose career has spanned five decades — drew a lone protester standing in front of a loaded syringe, mimicking the iconic “tank man” image of protest in China. An inset of the 1989 photo also appears in Leunig’s drawing.

The image was posted at the end of September and never made it to print in The Age, and speculation about Leunig’s job at the newspaper began after a cryptic 39-word statement on its letters page last Monday. The statement said the Melbourne newspaper was “trialling new cartoonists” on the page.

Now, Leunig has confirmed to The Australian columnist Nick Tabakoff he has been taken off the newspaper’s prized Monday editorial page position — not long after his Tiananmen Square cartoon emerged and stoked outrage from Daniel Andrews fans.


Cambridge University archive slaps 'trigger warnings' on classic children's books because of potentially 'harmful content'

Classic children’s books in a Cambridge University archive will in future be labelled with ‘trigger warnings’ for ‘harmful content relating to slavery, colonialism and racism’.

Researchers are reviewing more than 10,000 books and magazines to expose authors who have been ‘offensive to historically enslaved, colonised or denigrated people’.

It comes after anti-racist campaigners demanded teachers censor racial slurs when reading out the text of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.

The archive at Cambridge’s Homerton College is being reviewed as part of a move to upload texts to a digital library.

In online versions, words, phrases and images deemed harmful will be flagged and content warnings placed at the beginning of each text.

Offending authors include Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote Little House On The Prairie, for her ‘stereotypical depictions of Native Americans’.

Another is Dr Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of the Dr Seuss books, for ‘overt blackface’ and cultural insensitivities.

The Water Babies, Charles Kingsley’s 1863 children’s classic about a young chimney sweep, is described as having the potential to ‘harm readers without warning’ for comments about Irish and black people.

L Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, is also cited for ‘white supremacy’ in his Bandit Jim Crow, written under the pen name of Laura Bancroft.

The project, conducted jointly with the University of Florida, funded by the US National Endowment for the Humanities, will prioritise the online provision of children’s books by ‘people of colour’ and texts that ‘showcase diversity’.

Authors such as Enid Blyton, Peter Pan writer JM Barrie and Roald Dahl have been criticised for racist and insensitive portrayals in their novels and are likely to be among those attracting a warning.

But critics said content warnings were unnecessary and could lead to overt censorship.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘The whole point of much of children’s literature is to introduce them to alternative worlds. Fairy tales, for example, are saturated with scary characters and that is partly the point of them. Only woke-afflicted adults have such silly notions as trigger warnings.’




1 comment:

Norse said...

Several leftists have made comparisons between Hitler and right-wingers and I do not expect any lefties to be axed for such projections in the future. In the case of the cartoonist, it may be a case of the drawing reflecting a part of reality they do not like and thus find it offensive. The drawing shows an individual faced with "healthy" authoritarianism. Ouch.