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AZ student cartoonist fired for derogatory LGBT cartoon

Controversial cartoon
D.C. Parsons, a student cartoonist at The Daily Wildcat, has been fired and the student paper is apologizing after running a cartoon (during LGBT History Month) that depicts a father and son laughing at a derogatory joke. The cartoon depicts a father telling his son that if he ever comes out of the closet that he’d shoot him, roll him in a carpet and throw him off a bridge. The son replies,“Well I guess that’s what you call a ‘Fruit Roll-Up!’”. The last panel has both characters laughing.

A petition has been started to have the paper’s editor fired.

The editor-in-chief has apologized stating:

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.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat is now reviewing its editorial policies and has terminated the employment of the cartoonist as of Wednesday. His views do not represent the views of the Wildcat staff, nor does the Wildcat represent the views of the university.

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.

The cartoonist has also apologized for the comic entitled “etc.”:

My name is D.C. Parsons, and I would like to formally apologize to anyone who I may have offended in my comic “etc.” on Tuesday. The comic was not intended to offend. The desired end means of my work is solely humorous.

It was based on an experience from my childhood. My father is a devout conservative from a previous generation, and I believe he was simply distraught from the fact that I had learned (from “The Simpsons”) what homosexuality was at such a young age.

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.

Community Comments

#1 Donald Rex Jr.
October/19/2012
@ 12:44 pm

I feel like I have to speak up for Mr Parsons’ right to his cartoon and against the ‘majority of complaints Rules’ philosophy taken hold of North American publishing. I feel this is a poor gag at best, and would never have escaped a thoughtful editor. The intent might have been reframed to reflect a redneck view of the lbgt community that puts the gag on stupidity, rather than a violent act.
Also in comparison to Ms Eisner’s firing for an unpopular cartoon earlier in the year, her cartoon was dead on, a parody of press coverage of a racial issue. It just shows the climate of intolerance born of oppression.
“Can we get along” – Rodney King

#2 Keith Brown
October/19/2012
@ 1:18 pm

I just draw’em, I don’t print’em.

#3 birdie Birdashaw
October/19/2012
@ 3:31 pm

I understand the intent of the comic and I don’t think I’m offended.

#4 Donald Rex Jr.
October/20/2012
@ 10:53 am

#3 – seems more sanguine about hate crimes than most lbgt and other persons I know. Cartoonist Parsons is quoted above “but keep in mind it is only a joke, and what?s worse than a joke is a society that selectively ignores its problems.”
The butt of his cartoon is the victim of a violent act and thus would support that violence. This seems to me to not simply ignore the ‘problem’ but to perpetuate it.
I don’t object to Parsons drawing this cartoon, although I find his apology unconvincing. I think his editor was asleep at the switch to print a cartoon of this poor quality, and also sure to cause problems.
Happily freedom of expression goes both ways. Wheeeee!

#5 Dave Stephens
October/22/2012
@ 12:25 am

Next panel:
Son: Heh heh. But seriously, dad, this is modern times. That would never happen.

Dad: What do you mean?

Son: If I was gay with a dad like you, I’d shoot first. And forget the stupid rug – I’d dissolve you in acid and flush you right down the toilet. Hilarious, huh?

Final panel: no word balloons, just the dad looking all kinds of freaked…

#6 Joe Engesser
October/22/2012
@ 8:22 am

Following graduation, maybe he’ll get hired to write for ‘Family Guy’.

#7 Gerry Mooney
October/22/2012
@ 10:25 am

Well, conservative political cartoonists have to start SOMEWHERE!

#8 Dave Stephens
November/11/2012
@ 11:11 pm

Ho hum. We’ve been “doomed” for 500 years. Especially near the turn of a century or millennium, but also during the 20’s and the 60’s… Around the Civil War, we were extra specially doomed what with all the free blacks running around – so scary! Clearly, being doomed is the best thing that can happen to a country…

#9 Ahmet
December/28/2015
@ 12:12 am

Hey John,I’ve been going through the Preston Blair book for a while now and it’s been prttey fun and my drawings have really gotten more solid. I’m also relearning Maya this summer and started thinking that many of these principles about solid construction, form, volumes, line of action, etc. would be prttey easy to translate to a 3D package like Maya. I’d wager that constructing and posing a character correctly could be done prttey quickly on a computer if the person working it had a good handle on these first principles. I was thinking as a possible project to go back and start the Preston Blair book from scratch (along with all of your supplemental exercises), but this time do it all on the computer in 3D. I’d like to get your opinion on this. Would 3D Preston Blair be a viable exercise or just an exercise in futility. I’ve always wondered if 3D cartoons could become just as good as the classics and if their overall lack of goodness was due to a lack of knowledge on the artist’s part or a constriction based on the medium. Thanks for keeping the art of classic cartooning alive in modern times!Chris

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