Controversy is brewing over a New York Post cartoon that some believe ties this week’s chimp attack to President Barack Obama in a racially offensive fashion.
New York Post Cartoon Controversy
The cartoon, created by Sean Delonas and printed in Wednesday’s New York Post, shows police shooting a chimp dead, then saying: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
Chimp Attack Connection
The image is presumably related to an incident in Stamford, Connecticut on Monday in which a chimpanzee escaped a woman’s home and attacked her friend. Officers ended up shooting and killing the animal.
The caption in Delonas’ New York Post cartoon is being interpreted by some as a reference to Obama, since — while he didn’t actually author it — he was the driving force behind the recently passed stimulus bill. The Rev. Al Sharpton tells the Associated Press the image is “troubling at best, given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys.” Sharpton also called upon the Post to clarify its intentions with the drawing.
NY Post Chimp Cartoon Response
The New York Post countered Sharpton’s statement and declared it was standing behind the cartoon. The publication’s editor-in-chief issued the following response:
“The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.”
Cartoonist Sean Delonas went on to call Sharpton’s accusations “absolutely friggin’ ridiculous” during a phone interview with CNN Wednesday afternoon.
“Do you really think I’m saying Obama should be shot? I didn’t see that in the cartoon,” he said. “It’s about the economic stimulus bill. If you’re going to make that about anybody, it would be [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, which it’s not.”