Last week, I posted about a seriously ill-advised political cartoon published by the Toronto Sun just a day prior to Toronto’s mayoral election. The cartoon (pictured above) was created by long-time caricature artist Andy Donato, and features NDP candidate Olivia Chow — who has a lengthy career in Canadian politics — inexplicably garbed in a Communist Chinese uniform (Chow is Chinese Canadian, born in Hong Kong while the city was under British colonial rule) and literally ruding the coattails of her late husband, former NDP leader Jack Layton.
Several Canadian groups and politicians have spoken out against the cartoon. The Toronto Chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) wrote an open letter to the Sun‘s editorial board chastising the paper for failing in its responsibility to “tell stories that will not continue the marginalization of racialized people.” Last Thursday, current NDP leader Tom Mulcair lambasted the cartoon, calling it “an amalgam of everything offensive that you could possibly think of”, and then elaborating that it is a “racist caricature of a Chinese person.” Chow, herself, called the cartoon “disgusting”, and “both racist and sexist” just a day after its publication.
The Sun has now issued a bizarre, half-hearted apology in which they simultaneously defend Donato’s work while acknowledging the offensiveness of the caricature.