Student Paper Publishes Horrific, Violent Anti-LGBT Cartoon
Editors at The Daily Wildcat, the student-run newspaper at the University of Arizona, are busying apologizing this week for an offensive cartoon published on Tuesday. The four-panel cartoon strip depicts a father telling his son: "If you ever tell me you're gay, I will shoot you with my shotgun, roll you up in a carpet, and throw you off of a bridge." The final frame shows both the father and son laughing together at the comment.
The comic strip has rightly been ridiculed and called out for being homophobic, offensive, and sickening. Backlash from the cartoon has been significant.
Dan Reimold, who runs the college media blog CollegeMediaMatters, said it was "quite possibly the worst cartoon or comic depiction I’ve seen within the student press, and I’ve covered this world daily for half a decade.” A petition on Change.org had gathered more than 3,000 signatures as of this story urging the Daily Wildcat to fire the cartoonist along with the editor-in-chief and copy editor for "condoning violence and homophobia by allowing this cartoon to run."
Daily Wildcat editor Kristina Bui released a formal apology on Wednesday, saying the "staff made a serious error in judgment in printing a cartoon that some readers felt was homophobic and inappropriate." Many are criticizing the statement for implying that some members of the publication's staff found it funny enough to publish.
On Thursday, the Daily Wildcat fired the cartoonist, D.C. Parsons, who submitted a formal apology for the cartoon. In the apology, Parsons said the cartoon is based on personal childhood experiences. He explains that he grew up with a devoutly conservative father who was distraught when Parsons learned about homosexuality from watching "The Simpsons." While the connection isn't clear, Parsons insists that his intent was humor, and "the comic was not intended to offend."
Jennifer Hicks is a Communications Intern for Campus Progress.