Critics charge racism; Herald Sun claims “politically correct” charges false.
Is this Melbourne Herald Sun cartoon of Serena Williams racist or a parody of her blow-up?

Critics charge this caricature of the 23-time Grand Slam champion imploding during the US Open final is racist and point out Williams is the only figure in the cartoon depicted as a hulking presence with exaggerated features.

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Naomi Osaka, who swept Williams in the US Open final, is portrayed as a blonde white woman in the cartoon. Osaka, who holds U.S. and Japanese passports, is the daughter of a Haitian father and Japanese mother.

The Herald Sun reprinted the cartoon on the front page of the paper beneath the headline “Welcome to the PC World” after an outcry of criticism following its initial publication.

Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight says charges of racism show “the world has just gone crazy” and insists it is a commentary on Williams’ temper tantrum with no racial overtones intended.

“I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting,” Knight said in comments published by the Herald Sun. “The cartoon about Serena is about her poor behavior on the day, not about race.”

Author J.K. Rowling took the paper to task for trading in “racist and sexist tropes.”

Photo credit: Herald Sun