Cartoonist “Suffocated” by Political Correctness

An update on our story of an editorial cartoon that made light of a measles outbreak
in Samoa that is killing the young and the elderly.

After an uproar and street protests the Otago Daily Times printed a mea culpa,

and editor Barry Stewart publicly stated a more heartfelt apology.

Cartoonist Garrick Tremain at the time gave a not-so-heartfelt apology; complaining,

“In this politically correct atmosphere that we’re now being bloody suffocated by, you have to be aware there’s a growing number of people who wake up every morning and their first intention is to find something to be offended about.”


Radio New Zealand asked other cartoonists how they deal with an international social media populated by “those living to be offended”?

“Being contentious – there’s no value in that. You want people to think and you want to stimulate some sort of debate,” says Rod Emmerson, the New Zealand Herald’s editorial cartoonist.

“The footprint of your newspaper no longer finishes at the foot of the ranges or the service station 300 kilometres up the road,” he says.

From another cartoonist:

The editorial cartoonist for Stuff newspapers, Jeff Bell, disagrees with Tremain’s notion that political correctness is hampering cartoonists.

“I feel like the biggest problem there is that Tremain’s possibly just gotten a little bit out of touch with how society has moved forward. I don’t think that’s about political correctness, I just think it was a bad cartoon.


As for Garrick Tremain, he remains suspended from the paper and seems to be burning his bridges.

Stuff reports on two recent Tremain cartoons posted by Garrick on his site:

A cartoonist behind a controversial illustration has taken his pen and aimed it squarely at an under fire newspaper editor.



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