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Australian Cartoonist Michael Leunig Responds

So a cartoon by Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig again causes a stir.

To be sure Leunig has his detractors:

Oh no, Leunig is back, and he’s making cartoons again! Why won’t somebody stop him?

If you’re not aware, Michael Leunig is a veteran cartoonist and Australia’s most whimsical anti-vaxxer — he also hates marriage equality! Honestly, it’s bad enough that he does cartoons — the most hexed form of commentary in the blighted world of commentary — why do they also have to be grossly offensive?

How did he go from relatively inoffensive cartoons about shitty looking people who just really like flowers, to absolutely dank boomer nonsense?

A recent cartoon (above) resulted in instantaneous news and social media rebuke.

Controversial cartoonist Michael Leunig has been accused of unfairly judging mothers in a cartoon that suggested some love their phones and Instagram more than their children.

Even Michael’s sister was among those objecting.

Mary Leunig said she believed her brother’s cartoon was “attention-grabbing” and designed to make women angry.

“He does that sort of stuff, doesn’t he? A bit of feminist baiting and a bit of, I don’t know, making women angry,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.

The Morning Herald’s Sydney competition has covered the foofaraw since the cartoon was published.

The Michael Leunig cartoon that suggested mothers love their phones and Instagram more than their children was originally rejected by the Spectrum editor for Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald and Age and published on Wednesday’s opinion pages instead.

Leunig has been offending large sections of the population for decades, notably parents who use childcare or vaccinate their kids.

Sources told Weekly Beast the cartoon was rejected on the grounds of taste but executive editor James Chessell says the decision to move it to the op-ed pages was taken because it “expresses an opinion”.

Finally Michael has responded to what seems to be the Australian story of the year:

To make a conscientious cartoon based upon all of this concern and then be so hated, insulted, slandered in the public domain for this – as I was – is indeed a dismal fate for the lone cartoonist. It speaks volumes about the current condition of civil society and tolerance. This is bigotry. The malice has been astounding and so extreme that it has plunged me into a deep contemplation about the nature of angry hatred. Indeed, I am coming to the view that there is an emerging new form of hatred in society which might be more of a mental illness than a passing emotion. Perhaps I would call it “free-floating, obsessive compulsive hatred”.

The B and T story covering Michael response.

The Michael Leunig page at the Sydney Morning Herald

above: Michael Leunig, 1972

Community Comments

#1 Brad Walker
@ 12:01 pm

I wish I could recall who said it, but this reminds me of the “scientific principle” that, if one dog has spots, then all dogs have spots.

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