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Cartoonist Sparks Another Furor at University of Virginia

Last year, I reported about Grant Woolard, a student cartoonist at the University of Virginia, who created a national stir for two cartoons that were published in the Cavalier Daily. Both the editor and cartoonist later apologized for running the cartoons. Woolard has set off another controversy this week that resulted in about 200 students holding a sit-in outside the newspaper’s office demanding that he be fired. The cartoon depicted “nine nearly naked black men fighting each other with sticks, stools, boots and a pillow” and ran with a caption, “Ethiopian Food Fight.”

Herb Ladley, the editor-in-chief, said running the cartoon was a mistake and that a decision regarding Wooldard would come tomorrow and that he’d address the issue in an upcoming editorial.

The cartoon has been removed from their web site.

Community Comments

#1 Jeff Conner
September/6/2007
@ 12:36 pm

This cartoonist has published THREE cartoons that have caused a national uproar? Methinks the editor-in-chief needs to start editing.

#2 Alan Gardner
September/6/2007
@ 2:28 pm

It was a new editor, but what I find interesting is that the editor was a linguist student. What? They couldn’t get a journalism major that perhaps had taken some classes what to and not to print?

#3 Dawn Douglass
September/6/2007
@ 2:43 pm

I wish I knew the motivation behind this cartoon. Was he trying to draw attention to Ethopian famine in an effort to get more people interested in sending aid, or was he just making a poor joke at their expense???

#4 Matt Bors
September/6/2007
@ 4:01 pm

Seems like a risque gag cartoon as opposed to any political or social commentary, so I wonder why they ran it.

#5 Garey Mckee
September/6/2007
@ 7:37 pm

While I admit that I don’t understand the reasoning for even creating such a cartoon, I have to ask the question:

Why is it always the cartoonist who gets in hot water over this crap, when it’s the EDITOR who should be making the final decision wether to run these cartoons or not?

You want to fire someone? FIRE THE EDITOR!

#6 Stacy Curtis
September/6/2007
@ 10:59 pm

Cartoonists DRAW cartoons, they don’t PUBLISH them.

Whoever the person is who decides what goes into the Cavalier Daily is the person responsible.

The editor was new? So what? Even a newbie could tell this cartoon was something that demanded closer attention.

#7 Rich Diesslin
September/6/2007
@ 11:14 pm

Alan, they still teach journalism? Seems to me both the editor and the cartoonist should have seen that one as a bad idea … both are culpable … but both are college students right? I’m amazed it generated a sit-in … perhaps some professor who misses the ’60’s was behind that. ;)

#8 Caroline Choe
September/14/2007
@ 2:12 pm

After seeing one of his “controversial” cartoons in his paper last year, I went to the cavalier daily and met with him. Grant is a kind, good-natured and clever cartoonist whose biting wit is usually targeted at culturally ignorant Americans who derive their personal opinions from generalized, untrue stereotypes. He seeks to portray their misinformed perspectives by illustrating them in his cartoons. It truly saddens me that he has received so much undue criticism from people who have completely miscontrued the point of his artwork.

#9 Keith Bryant
September/15/2007
@ 1:29 am

While Woolard was dismissed for his “Ethiopian” cartoon, in the recent past he was given a free pass for his cartoons mocking the Catholic Church. It’s funny how the double standards run amok in todays society. If one attacks blacks, Jews and gays, their trial by media begins, (just ask Don Imus, Mel Gibson and Isaiah Washington). If one attacks Catholics (or any other Christian church), they’re applauded.

#10 Dorothy Brooks
March/18/2008
@ 6:53 am

It always saddens me when Christians (like Keith Brayant) lump blacks, Jews and gays in one groups and Christians in the other. Why is it not possible to just comment on what is right or wrong (and judgments are possible? When writers or speakers denigrate blacks or Jews or make comments on the sinner and not the SIN, when discussing gays, then it is wrong. When they do the same concerning Christians it is wrong. And isn’t it odd that the cartoonists will go out on a limb when it comes to Christians but are rather reserved when it comes to Muslims. I wonder if self preservation kicks in?

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