Bill Bramhall, editorial cartoonist for the New York Daily News, is being called out for a racist cartoon about New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. Chief among those decrying the cartoon are Evelyn Yang, wife of the candidate, and the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Alliance.
The cartoon appeared to be in reference to an interview on Sunday in which Yang told Showtime host Ziwe Fumudoh that his favorite subway stop in the Big Apple is Times Square.
It followed followed recent criticisms that Yang is out of touch with New York politics – which were spelled out in a Daily News editorial over the weekend.
‘Andrew Yang may be a quick study, but all the cramming he’s done since jumping into the mayor’s race can’t make up for years of inattention to New York politics and policies, best evidenced by the fact that he has never bothered to vote in a local election,’ the editorial read.
News organizations and websites from the Left and the Right are carrying the story.
Yang, running for New York City Mayor, had been the subject of criticism after saying his favorite subway stop was Times Square, which he said was the station closest to his home. AAPI Victory Alliance, a progressive Asian American and Pacific Islander advocacy group, also criticized the cartoon on Monday, calling it “disgusting and wrong.”
In a statement, Yang’s campaign spokesperson Alyssa Cass said of the reaction to Yang’s subway station comment, including the cartoon: “It’s hard to tell what offends them more – that his family has lived near that subway stop for 25 years or that he’s an Asian American.”
A spokesperson for Tribune Publishing, the parent company of the Daily News, did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
The tech entrepreneur and former presidential candidate is among the leading candidates in the Democratic primary. Voting ends on 22 June. Unlike most of the other leading contenders, Yang has never held a job in city government and isn’t part of the city’s political establishment.
That status as an outsider has helped Yang with some voters but he has also been criticised for his lack of experience, for spending time at his house in the Hudson River Valley village of New Paltz after the pandemic struck, and for failing to vote in the last four mayoral elections.
Evelyn Yang, the wife of New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, blasted the New York Daily News for a cartoon depicting her husband as a tourist, calling it a “racist disfiguration” of him.
Evelyn Yang followed up her initial Tweet with another…
The New York Daily News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the cartoon. Andrew Yang’s campaign indicated he will address the cartoon on Tuesday.
UPDATE 8pm (eastern) May 25
Both Andrew Yang and the Daily News have responded to the cartoon and the reaction.
Andrew Yang addressed the controversy at a Tuesday-afternoon press conference held outside a Queens subway station where an Asian man had been pushed onto the tracks earlier this week, tying the attacks on himself to the increase in hate crimes across the city.
“Hate is tearing our city apart, and we need it to stop, we need it to end,” the candidate said. “Some of my opponents in this race have actually characterized some of us as being more New York than others — as if some of us belong here more than other people,” Yang said. “And I am here to say that that is wrong. None of us is more New York than anyone else. We all belong here.”
Evelyn Yang, who grew up in Queens, added, “Anytime someone implies that we are not New Yorkers, that we are not from here, that we don’t belong here, that we should go back to where we came from, it is exactly what it sounds like. It’s racism.”
In addition Andrew Yang issued a statement. In part below.
Josh Greenman, the editorial page editor for The News, defended the cartoon, which was penned by artist Bill Bramhall.
“Andrew Yang is a leading contender to be mayor of New York City, and as commentators, his opponents and The News editorial board have recently pointed out, he’s recently revealed there are major gaps in his knowledge of New York City politics and policy. Nor has he ever voted in a mayoral election,” Greenman said. “Bill Bramhall’s cartoon is a comment on that, period, end of story. This is not a racial stereotype or racist caricature.”
Though The Daily News did admit to alterations after complaints.
Greenman added that the original, online version of the cartoon had been altered for the paper’s print run after concerns were raised about it.
“After Bill tweeted his cartoon yesterday, people reacted badly to how Yang’s eyes were drawn,” he said. “Bill altered the drawing out of sensitivity to those concerns, without changing the concept of the cartoon, which he and we stand by.”
In the back and forth Evelyn Yang answered The Daily News:
The Daily News reacted with a quartet of Bramhall cartoons insisting “Politics is a tough game in NYC.”