An editorial in today’s The Observer, the independent newspaper of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, apologized for an anti-gay cartoon that appeared in the January 13 edition of the paper.
According to IrishCentral.com, the cartoon depicts a conversation between a person and a saw. The saw asks, “What’s the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?” The man says, “No idea.” The saw replies, “A baseball bat.”
“The Observer, though an independent newspaper, is representative of the community of the University of Notre Dame and the values it so cherishes: family, understanding, service, respect and love,” read the editorial. “Allowing this cruel and hateful comic a place on our pages disgraced those values and severely hurt members of our Notre Dame family — our classmates, our friends. For this, we sincerely apologize.”
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said they contacted the paper’s editor after they saw the cartoon.
“This type of advocacy of anti-LGBT violence must stop. It isn’t funny. What’s more, it promotes hate crimes, which are all too prevalent in society today,” reads a post on GLAADBlog.org.
GLAAD also says that the cartoonist posted the cartoon to his blog, and said the original cartoon’s punch line was “AIDS.” The cartoonist claimed the punch line was changed, because the paper did not want to poke fun at AIDS.
“The Observer made a dangerously misguided decision that promoting violence was somehow superior to making fun of HIV/AIDS. Both versions of the cartoon were abhorrent,” said GLAAD.
According to the newspaper, one reason for the cartoon’s publication was a breakdown in the editing process.
“On our part, we must practice more responsible journalism and editing. That this comic was published reveals holes in our editing practices, which are currently being addressed.”
UPDATE: January 15 @ 8:25 p.m.
The artist’s blog seems to have been deleted, but Google has a cache of the blog with a copy of the comic, the original comic, and an online conversation with The Observer.
The conversation shows The Observer rejecting the original comic, and then saying the new version is “good.”
The cartoonists did release an apology.
“We cannot begin to express how apologetic we are for everyone who has been hurt by our comic and its implied message,” read the statement from Colin Hofman, Lauren Rosemeyer and Jay Wade.
What do you think about this situation? Do you believe The Observer should revise more than their editing procedures?
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!