An internationally renowned cartoonist from Australia has claimed that he was denied a prime position at a Melbourne newspaper because he made parallels between Tiananmen Square protests and Covid-19 mandates in his new cartoon.
Cartoonist Michael Leunig, sometimes referred to as Australia’s “living national treasure”, has revealed that he was forced out of his position at the editorial page of The Age daily newspaper after publishing a political cartoon criticizing the government’s push for mandatory vaccination.
Leunig told The Australian that, while about 12 of his pieces have been censored by the editorial staff this year; the last straw seemed to be an anti mandate cartoon. This was a reference to the Tank Man photograph. Leunig’s drawing shows Leunig as a man looking down at a tank with the main gun replaced by a needle.
Original photo shows a single Chinese protester facing a row of tanks in 1989 during pro-democracy demonstrations on the Tiananmen Square.
Leunig posted the sketch on Instagram after his cartoon was rejected at The Age. This triggered backlash from vaccine advocates.
Leuning, who had worked at the paper for more than twenty years, received a message telling him that his services were not needed as a cartoonist. The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, reportedly told the artist that he was “Out of touch”before notifying him about his promotion. Alcorn also praised Leuning. “brilliant”In a reply to The Australian, Leuning confirmed that his work would not appear on The Australian’s editorial page. However, the newspaper plans to continue commissioning lifestyle cartoons by Leuning.
Leuning for his part accused the newspaper “wokeism and humorlessness,”The cartoon is being defended as a true reflection of times.
“The Tiananmen Square image is often used in cartoons around the world as a Charlie Chaplin-like metaphor for overwhelming force meeting the innocent powerless individual. In my view, it is a fair enough issue to raise in the most locked-down city in the world,”“Melbourne, with its 262 day lockdown, was the place to be,” the cartoonist stated.
Australia’s second-largest city began relaxing sweeping Covid-19 restrictions on Friday. Residents cheered as midnight approached from their balconies, sparking celebrations in the entire city.
You think your friends might be interested in this story? Tell your friends!