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Norwegian cartoonist called racist after cannibal cartoon

A cartoon by Norwegian cartoonist Frode Øverli is being called racist by readers of The Metro.

The cartoon depicts a cannibal chief and wife being approached by a suitor for their daughter’s hand in marriage.

Swedish celebrity Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité also took time to write the paper to complain saying that, “after all these years of human knowledge it seems you remain in the era of steam engines, racial biology and genocide. You should be ashamed of yourself for not knowing better.”

Frode responded by stating the his comic was a parody using cliches and stereotypes “from the old days.”

The paper ran an apology saying it was okay to make fun of cannibals, but not in a racist way.

Here’s the cartoon. What do you think? Racist? How do you make fun of cannibals without triggering the race card? There are plenty of cases of caucasian cannibalism, but in a visual shorthand which image conveys a cannibal faster and easier – a Donner party member or a dark skinned individual with a bone through his nose?

Community Comments

#1 Rickard Jonasson
January/13/2012
@ 10:18 am

The cartoonist in question is not Swedish, but Norwegian.
Do all Scandinavians look the same to you people!?

#2 Jason Chatfield
January/13/2012
@ 10:24 am

You had me at Comic Sans.

#3 Jim Lavery
January/13/2012
@ 10:28 am

Rick, I’m sure you meant to add “no offense to ‘You People'”

#4 Nathan Rackley
January/13/2012
@ 10:29 am

Although I am not familiar with Øverli’s style (and thus cannot make a judgement call as to how much “stereotyping” he is doing in his strip, I feel that the matter of determining if the cartoonist is racist or not would be difficult to determine from a single panel.

We need to look at what the cartoonist is parodying. Who is his target? Who is he trying to make fun of? Or what? Is it cannibalism? Is it a particular race of people?

After all… I have read several cartoons (both humor strips AND political strips) here in the United States that could be considered far more bigoted, yet they are applauded for their “free thinking nature.”

#5 Alan Gardner
January/13/2012
@ 10:44 am

Thanks Rickard for catching that. I’ve corrected the post.

#6 David Jones
January/13/2012
@ 1:51 pm

Note to self…. cancel plans for the cannibal episode of Charmy’s Army entitled “An Arm and a Leg”……….

#7 Mike Peterson
January/13/2012
@ 2:26 pm

Cannibalism in most primitive societies is a religious activity, not a “meal.” A comparable cartoon would be an “eat your body, drink your blood” gag starring a bunch of Christians.

#8 Matt Bors
January/13/2012
@ 2:45 pm

Big-lipped black people acting out misinformed stereotypes about being savages.

No, nothing racist here. Great fonts, though.

#9 Jeff Parker
January/13/2012
@ 3:00 pm

Bone in hair is ALWAYS a deal breaker.

#10 Karl Dixon
January/15/2012
@ 11:57 am

Oh for cryin’ out loud will these people get a grip. How can a cartoonist do his or her job without stereo types. If I was to draw a cannibal in plus fours and a golfing hat the editor and readers would justifiably say; ‘What the hell was todays cartoon about’ But if you portray a cannibal as black with a bone though his nose then you’re a racist…Come on guys, its hard enough making people laugh without the 1% dictating what the other 99 can find funny

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