New York Post apologises over chimp cartoon

Newspaper offers qualified apology after two days of protest over potential comparison with Barack Obama

The New York Post has apologised for a cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police, following two days of protest.

The drawing by the long-time Post cartoonist Sean Delonas, published on Wednesday, showed a dead chimp and two police officers, one with a smoking gun. The caption read: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

The newspaper posted an editorial on its website last night saying the cartoon was meant to mock the federal economic stimulus bill, but "to those who were offended by the image, we apologise".

The piece was posted hours after 200 picketers, chanting "Boycott the Post! Shut it down!", marched in front of the paper's office, saying the cartoon echoed racist stereotypes of black people as monkeys.

The editorial said that "most certainly was not its intent", adding that some media and public figures who have long-standing differences with the paper saw the cartoon "as an opportunity for payback".

Calling them "opportunists", the editorial said: "To them, no apology is due."

The apology left some critics unmollified. They said they might continue protesting today.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who helped lead the outcry over the cartoon, criticised what he called the paper's "conditional statement" of regret.

"Though we think it is the right thing for them to apologise to those they offended, they seem to want to blame the offence on those (who) raised the issue, rather than take responsibility for what they did," he said in a statement.

The tabloid, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, is known for its feisty attitude, provocative headlines and conservative outlook; a mix that has garnered hundreds of thousands of readers, but also criticism over the years.

The newspaper had stood by the cartoon, which its editor called "a clear parody" of the death of Travis, the chimp killed by Connecticut police on Monday after it mauled a friend of its owner.

The editor-in-chief, Col Allan, had said the intent was to ridicule Washington's efforts to revive the economy.

Associated Press

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
New York Post in racism row over chimpanzee cartoon

African-American activist Al Sharpton claims newspaper may have portrayed Barack Obama using racist imagery

Oliver Burkeman in Washington

18, Feb, 2009 @6:58 PM

Article image
Yemeni bodegas boycott New York Post over attacks on Ilhan Omar
Murdoch-owned paper published front page that Yemeni American Merchants Association says ‘provoked hatred’

Lois Beckett

13, Apr, 2019 @5:07 PM

Article image
Strauss-Kahn case maid sues New York Post over prostitute allegation
Newspaper and five of its journalists face lawsuit amid spate of leaks about alleged sexual attack

Dominic Rushe, Ed Pilkington in New York and Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

05, Jul, 2011 @8:12 PM

Article image
Facebook and Twitter restrict controversial New York Post story on Joe Biden
Social media platforms move to limit spread of article amid questions over its veracity

Kari Paul

15, Oct, 2020 @2:36 AM

Former New York Post editor claims discrimination in lawsuit

Sandra Guzman alleges that Rupert Murdoch's US newspaper fostered a 'hostile work environment'

Ed Pilkington in New York

11, Nov, 2009 @6:56 PM

Article image
Quentin Tarantino denies New York Post's bogus jail time claims
Oscar-winning film-maker breaks cover to dispute allegations he lied about spending time behind bars in interviews over a 23-year period

Ben Child

08, Dec, 2015 @11:05 AM

Article image
Facebook leak reveals policies on restricting New York Post's Biden story
Moderators had to manually intervene to limit distribution of Hunter Biden report

Alex Hern

30, Oct, 2020 @1:44 PM

Article image
The New York Post: the game is up for Murdoch's plaything | Michael Wolff

Michael Wolff: Murdoch's once-mighty tabloid toy is out of time: the new News Corp can't carry the spectacularly loss-making vanity project

Michael Wolff

15, Apr, 2013 @1:59 PM

Article image
New York gossip queen Cindy Adams: ‘My loyalty is to anyone who’ll give me the best quote’
The 91-year-old tabloid columnist, the star of a new Showtime documentary, on Murdoch, Trump – and why New York is the capital of the world

Edward Helmore in New York

12, Sep, 2021 @5:30 AM

New York Post journalist 'sacked after monkey cartoon complaint' to sue
Former associate editor Sandra Guzman to sue newspaper, claiming she was dismissed after criticising Obama cartoon. By Chris Tryhorn

Chris Tryhorn and agencies

10, Nov, 2009 @5:54 PM