WXXI AM News

Connections: Discussing satire, and the controversy surrounding the cartoon of Serena Williams

Sep 12, 2018

When tennis superstar Serena Williams was penalized multiple times during the U.S. Open final on Saturday, her reaction led to controversy. Williams told the chair umpire at the match that a man would not be criticized for the comments and behavior that she displayed. Many people agreed; others said even if that is the case, it doesn’t excuse her behavior.

In the midst of this conversation, an Australian political cartoonist created an image of Williams stomping on her racket; her features were exaggerated and a pacifier was at her feet. Cartoonist Mark Knight and his defenders called it satire; others called it racist and sexist.

This hour, we discuss the role of satire in the current climate, and the controversy surrounding the image and the issues at the match itself. Our guests:

  • Amanda Chestnut, artist and communications coordinator at Flower City Arts Center
  • Dick Roberts, artist and former political cartoonist for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Mara Ahmed, activist, artist, and filmmaker at Neelum Films