Friday, March 22, 2024

The Association of Canadian Cartoonists defends Serge Chapleau

Nosfenyahou on his way to Rafah

In the last 24 hours that our colleague at La Presse in Montreal, Serge Chapleau, has been accused of antisemitism due to his latest cartoon of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The following is an excerpt from the CBC:

The following story contains an image that has been criticized for being antisemitic.

A political cartoon in a French-language newspaper depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a vampire has sparked accusations of antisemitism.

The cartoon appeared in Wednesday's edition of La Presse, a prestigious digital-only newspaper. It shows Netanyahu with long claws, pointed ears and wearing an overcoat — imagery reminiscent of Count Orlok, a vampire from the 1922 silent film, Nosferatu. 

In the cartoon, Netanyahu stands on a ship above an inscription that reads "Nosfenyahou, en route to Rafah."

Politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Jewish leaders criticized the cartoon, calling it antisemitic and reminiscent of Nazi propaganda against Jews.

Serge Chapleau, the cartoonist who drew it, dismissed the criticism in an interview with CBC and said he did not believe it was antisemitic.
Nonetheless, by late morning, the cartoon no longer appeared on the La Presse website and the newspaper issued an apology.

The ACC has issued the following statement:

Our cartoonist colleague Serge Chapleau of La Presse has had a cartoon of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu censored under the accusation of it being antisemitic.

This is a very sensitive topic for cartoonists, perhaps at the very top of the pyramid of cartooning quandaries. 

Caricaturing world leaders as mythical villains or monsters is a common practice virtually around the globe and Netanyahu should be no exception.

As professional cartoonists we are well aware of the grotesque history of abusing Jewish individuals in graphic work and cartoons, most notably by the Nazis as hate propaganda.

In our view, Mr. Chapleau's rendering of Netanyahu as Nosferatu is not an attack on Israelis or Jewish people globally, but rather a very strong statement on a controversial world leader during a major conflict.

The task of the cartoonist is to always punch up and counter abuses of power, regardless of the nation or background of the subject. This cartoon does not punch down.

Even though this cartoon may be shocking and disagreeable to some, we do not regard it as antisemitic and for Mr. Chapleau, a cartoonist of great sophistication, to be accused of that is something we wholeheartedly disagree with.

We are greatly disappointed in La Presse for not standing behind their cartoonist.

Members of The Association of Canadian Cartoonists

Wes Tyrell - President
Guy Badeaux - Vice President
Terry Mosher
Sue Dewar
Graeme MacKay
Andy Donato
Dan Murphy
Scott Burns 
Anthony Jenkins
Graham Harrop
Derek Evernden
Dominic Hardy
Robert Lafontaine
Christian Vachon
Bruce MacKinnon
Susan Moshinski
Patrick Hickey
Pat Callaghan
Michael deAdder
Jeremie Roy-Savard 
Patrick Corrigan
Gareth Lind
Dawn Mockler
Dale Cummings
Tim Dolighan
JC Laquerrre

No comments:

Post a Comment