See All Topics

Home / Section: Controversies

Local cartoonist creates firestorm of criticism

Charlie Hall drew and editorial cartoon for the Barrington Times (RI) and created a wave of upset readers. The cartoon is described as:

In the first panel of the cartoon, a high-school student is being harassed by others for urging her peers not to drink. A girl tells the student, “Yea, if WE want to drink underage, it’s OUR CHOICE.”

In the second panel, a couple is standing over a coffin. A funeral director says, “Of course you can have the coffin closed or open â?? it’s your choice.”

Apparently, many readers assumed that the girl in the cartoon was a recent teen death and it hit a nerve. Both the cartoonist and the paper have apologized for the hurt feelings.

Community Comments

#1 Rich Diesslin
October/16/2007
@ 12:33 am

Timing may have been bad, but the message is good and no apology need be issued for it – IMHO.

#2 Dawn Douglass
October/16/2007
@ 9:00 am

The intent of the cartoon was clearly to help stop such needless deaths. You’d think they people who were affected by this girl’s death would want that.

#3 Danny Burleson
October/16/2007
@ 2:52 pm

People: “WAAH! Someone died due to a boating accident and we’re understandably upset about it!”

Cartoonist: “Wow, underage drinking sure is troubling, I think I’ll exercise my 1st Amendment rights to commentate on it.”

People: “RAAH! A cartoonist had the nerve to bring a broadly related issue to light! We’re even more upset now and it’s all his fault.”

Cartoonist: “What boating accident?”

In the great words of Mr. Spock, I find this line of reasoning, “Highly illogical.” But, oh, that’s right, comics are making fun of everything 100% of time, they can never serve as a means to make a statement. :(

Unless you’re certain that the issue at hand is being made fun of (and by certain, I mean, “Watching ‘South Park'”), you should stop for, I don’t know, slightly longer than the time it takes for you knee to jerk, and think about things before whining.

If after that you’re still certain… then there’s 9 in 10 chance you’re wrong.

#4 Lois Lane
October/17/2007
@ 9:41 pm

The cartoonist “hit the nail on the head” . The cartoon depicts a girl in town who has made a comment stating that underage drinking is “stupid” and “the 20” have responded by arguing that it is “their choice” to drink. The second panel states yes”it’s your choice, open or closed casket”. The statement is clearly made, if you choose to drink, you can choose the casket to be open or closed, it’s your choice. The cartoonist was responding to the recent harassment of a high school student who has spoken out against underage drinking. The teen was also accused of “defaming” the name of Pat Murphy who recently was killed by one of his “good friends” while they were out on their parents boats drunk. This group seems to love to draw attention away from the fact that underage drinking caused another unnecessary death in this town. The teens like to say that “we” as a community are lacking in compassion if we speak the truth. This group of teens have been drinking for years with their parents consent and in some instances aid in providing the alcohol. These parents consider drinking a part of teen culture, they have said they did it when they were young, they expect the same, have learned nothing. They don’t appear to wish better for their children. They are raising monsters who terrorize anyone who does not agree with their opinions on drinking. I would rather be the parent of a NARC than the parent of a DRUNK MURDERER anyday. You decide.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.