published : 2023-11-09

Washington Post Apologizes and Removes Anti-Hamas Cartoon After Backlash

'This was not my intent,' editorial page editor wrote

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The Washington Post faced criticism and controversy on Wednesday as they deleted an editorial cartoon that was seen as racist and dehumanizing towards Palestinians. The cartoon, titled 'Human shields,' depicted a Hamas spokesperson making defensive remarks while women and children were depicted as frightened and bound to his body.

The decision to remove the cartoon was made by Washington Post editorial page editor David Shipley, who explained that the image had been misinterpreted by many readers. He expressed regret and apologized for any offense caused by the cartoon.

Liberal readers accused The Washington Post of perpetuating racial stereotypes and gender bias through the cartoon. They argued that it unfairly blamed Hamas for the deaths of Palestinian civilians instead of holding Israel responsible.

The Washington Post shared criticism from liberal readers who described the cartoon as offensive and disturbing. They called out its use of racial stereotypes and derogatory portrayals of women, asserting that it perpetuated racism and gender bias.

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Owen Jones, a columnist for The Guardian, condemned the cartoon as a racist dehumanization that paves the way for mass murder in Gaza. Other readers expressed disappointment in the cartoon's mischaracterization of the situation and its potential to justify Israeli war crimes.

Some readers further criticized The Washington Post for what they perceived as irresponsible publishing and enabling of genocide. They emphasized that the cartoon employed grotesque and racist imagery that has historically jeopardized Arabs' and Muslims' safety.

However, the cartoon also received some positive feedback online, with a handful of comments commending its depiction of Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

This is not the first time that The Washington Post has faced backlash for its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war. In the past, the paper has been accused of watering down rhetoric from pro-Hamas supporters and using information from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

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The removal of the cartoon adds to the ongoing debate surrounding the portrayal of conflicts and the need for responsible and sensitive journalism.

The Washington Post's decision to listen to reader feedback and take action reflects the importance of considering diverse perspectives in media representation.