Robot 6

Student newspaper apologizes, cartoonist fired for anti-gay comic

The comic strip by D.C. Parsons that appeared in the Daily Wildcat

The editor of the University of Arizona student newspaper has issued an apology and fired the cartoonist following backlash over a homophobic  comic strip published Tuesday in the Daily Wildcat.

Created by student D.C. Parsons, the comic (above) depicts a father explaining to his young son, “If you ever tell me you’re gay … I will shoot you with my shotgun, roll you up in a carpet and throw you off a bridge.” The boy replies, “Well, I guess that’s what you call a ‘Fruit Roll Up,’” and the two share a hearty laugh.

The strip drew immediate condemnation both on campus and off, with a petition on Change.org demanding the firing of the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, cartoonist and copy editor attracting more than 4,600 signatures.

On Wednesday, Editor-in-Chief Kristina Bui apologized for publishing the comic, writing, “On Tuesday, the Daily Wildcat staff made a serious error in judgment in printing a cartoon that some readers felt was homophobic and inappropriate. We heard from several readers who expressed their disappointment and hurt over the comic strip. [...] Printing the comic strip was a failure to weigh the perspectives and experiences of others. We regret our mistake, and that we cannot take back the damage it has caused. We’re sorry.”

Parsons also offered an apology, saying that while “the comic was not intended to offend,” “I have always used humor as a coping mechanism, much like society does when addressing social taboos. I do not condone these things; I simply don’t ignore them. I do sincerely apologize and sympathize with anyone who may be offended by my comics (I am often similarly offended by Ralph and Chuck), but keep in mind it is only a joke, and what’s worse than a joke is a society that selectively ignores its problems.”

Bui told KVOA TV that although it’s her responsibility to approve the newspaper’s pages each night, “I made the mistake of automatically finalizing this one without considering the perceptions and the perspectives of others.” Readers’ representative Bethany Barnes wrote that in the past cartoons have been reviewed only by the Daily Wildcat’s editor-in-chief, but a new policy is being implemented to change that; according to The Arizona Republic, three editors now will be involved in the cartoon-approval process.

“Cartoons are opinions and editorial content,” Barnes wrote. “They should be treated with the same care because they are powerful. Good comics do more than cause a chuckle; they can discuss important issues in a meaningful way. Bad comics — and this was a doozy of one — not only hurt others but can cause hate to be perpetuated.”

News From Our Partners

Comments

12 Comments

As a gay man, I’m more offended by how uninspired this comic is. Tracy Morgan was called out on a joke not dissimilar to this one over a year ago. Twitter’s #tomyunbornchild became a morass of unfiltered violence against children who hadn’t even met the world face-to-face yet. The cartoonist says, “I have always used humor as a coping mechanism, much like society does when addressing social taboos. I do not condone these things; I simply don’t ignore them.” but he doesn’t address social taboos in an original way nor does he make it clear that he doesn’t condone these acts nor does he engender conversation of an issue. He simply told a shitty, derivative joke.

So, the paper ran the comic, then fired the cartoonist because of a petition? Maybe this would have gone better had the paper just showed some sense and not run the comic?

Editor-in-Chief Kristina Bui should be fired as well for not doing her job in the first place.

Wow – it’s not so much offensive (even thought it is) as just plain not funny. Just seemed like a huge reach for a really lame punchline.

@Paul

Editor in Chief Bui is the only one who should be fired. It’s clear she wasn’t doing her job. It’s the cartoonist’s job to try to create funny material, and the Editor in Chief’s job to decide what material is appropriate for the paper. Only cartoonists who don’t provide enough appropriate material over time should be fired.

Parson is the fall guy for Bui’s incompetence in rubber stamping things without even looking.

The comic is ironic, which you can tell by the final panel. It isn’t done well but it isn’t actually supporting homophobia.

The cartoon sucks and clearly is in horrendous taste; however, didn’t this site recently run an article by the CBLDF about banned comics/strips? Would the CBLDF stand by this strip? Or, only those which suit/share its beliefs?

Irony: The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Yeah, gonna have to disagree with you there, Dante.

Hube: They probably wouldn’t….but I’m not sure this fits the same category.

This strip is painfully not funny.

It being offensive literally adds insult to injury.

Typical non-apology from the editor-in-chief.

“…that some students felt was homophobic…” are carefully chosen words to avoid admitting that the strip is homophobic. It absolves them of blame. The “error in judgement” they mention was not that of publishing a homophobic strip, but of failing to recognize that some people might maybe possibly consider it homophobic (though, really, it isn’t). That’s the implication. We didn’t do anything wrong. We’re not homophobic douchebags. We just failed to realize that some of you are very sensitive.

Not good enough.

I’m just glad everything is perfect in the world again for gay people, because the evil cartoonist got punished. How dare him write and draw something distasteful? Everyone knows that only tasteful jokes are funny!!!

People need to grow a nut and quit whining about trivial nonsense. Waaaah!

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives