Journalism

Dec 15, 2015

Oz defends ‘racist’ Bill Leak cartoon: critics didn’t get the joke

A cartoon in The Australian isn't making fun of Indians, but climate activists, argues the paper's editors.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

The Australian has defended a Bill Leak cartoon in yesterday's edition that critics said was racist, arguing that the gag was not that Indians were poor and uneducated, but that the UN was sending them useless aid. Academics, Indian journalists and social media critics said the cartoon depended on racist stereotypes to make fun of Indian people. It depicts a group of Indians in traditional dress complaining about the delivery of UN solar panels. "It's no good, you can't eat them," one cries. "Hang on, let me try one with a bit of mango chutney," another responds. The caption below reads Aid A La Mode, roughly, "Fashionable Aid".

billleakCOPcartoon

The Bill Leak cartoon in yesterday's Australian

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

25 comments

Leave a comment

25 thoughts on “Oz defends ‘racist’ Bill Leak cartoon: critics didn’t get the joke

  1. David Sanderson

    The Australian is failing to differentiate between means and ends. The purpose might have been (a rather peculiar) attack on environmentalists but the means to do so was ludicrous and offensive racial stereotyping of Indians, poor Indians in particular.

  2. TrueBlueAussie

    If it was Indians trying to eat Coal… the far-left hate brigade would have said what a funny cartoon it was all would be laughs and giggles from the left without a hint of angst.

    Unfortunately it has Solar Panels that means the left must play it’s usual Go-To Card… Racism. Pretty lazy effort this time though I must say.

  3. Di Keller

    Ah, you used to be funny Bill.

  4. Ross Carnsew

    Bill Leak is horrible.

  5. Bob's Uncle

    I’m sure The Australian will adopt the same level of sensitivity to racial stereotyping as they did when Fairfax published the Glen Le Lievre cartoon with the “hook-nosed” Jewish fellow.

  6. Zeke

    [email protected] 2

    ..but there were no “left wing” cartoons about Indians eating coal and never have been. You lose. I suggest that the Australian might want to increase your wage.

    Are you sure you’re name isn’t “TrueWhiteAussie”?

  7. klewso

    Leaked Coalslew dressing.

  8. Terry of Tuggeranong

    I hope Leak is not heading the same way as Pickering

  9. John Newton

    ‘Drained of power in a couple of hours’? Then add more! Lomberg is a total tool.

  10. paddy

    Oh dear. When the Australian’s editors have to explain a cartoon to their readers….I think something’s broken.
    Hint: It’s not the readers.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...