New Zealand Herald’s cartoonist Rod Emmerson has defended Australian cartoonist Mark Knight after his depiction of Serena Williams was labelled as ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’.
“There is not a chance he would even contemplate doing a racist cartoon,” he told 1 NEWS today.
The image made headlines around the world and has caused controversy in the US with commentators saying it is an example of Australia’s "blind racism".
He says it has been blown out of proportion.
“I think people are trying to find something that is not there.”
But he says Mr Knight should have "understood the repercussions" of his image.
“We’ve got to be very careful before we put pen to paper.”
The cartoon comes after tennis star Serena Williams made several outbursts to the umpire at the US Open final.
Emmerson says Knight is “ … very big on sportsmanship and doesn’t like people throwing ‘wobblies’.”
This dominated the 6-2 6-4 final win by Naomi Osaka at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.