Cartoonist Michael Leunig has objected after The Age announced it would no longer publish his Monday cartoons.
Leunig has been mired in controversy for some weeks after he posted an anti-vax drawing on his Instagram when the newspaper refused to publish it.
Leunig’s cartoon compared COVID-19 vaccines to the infamous Beijing figure ‘Tank Man’ – who advocated for free speech by standing in front of a line of tanks opposing the Chinese military. This image has become iconic – it is seen as a bold act of heroism and defiance.
The cartoon Leunig posted wasn’t exactly subtle: it featured a giant needle, a person and a photoshopped image of Tank Man.
He captioned the drawing “mandate,” seemingly comparing mass vaccination to a massacre.
The post went semi-viral and received over 8 thousand likes and 3 thousand comments. It also got comments from activist Clementine Ford and journalist Jan Fran, both of whom condemned the drawing.
Ford wrote: “Everyone applauding this disgraceful comparison shows not only their scientific ignorance, but their historical ignorance too. Only the most privileged of people would find relatable meaning in this dross.”
Fran commented: “What in the hecking heck is this?”
It’s worth noting that usually, a cartoonist’s role is to poke fun and call out politicians and the rules and laws they implement. But a pandemic has different rules, it’s not about views or opinions. It is about health and science.
Leunig will now no longer file for the Monday section of The Age. Gay Alcorn, the editor of The Age, told The Australian that she had pulled “multiple cartoons by Leunig, almost entirely on the grounds that they expressed an anti-vaccination sentiment.”
“We don’t mind cartoonists challenging the readers. We encourage diversity of thought, but I had a concern with cartoons perceived as anti-vaccination.”
Leunig will continue to file for Spectrum, the Saturday Age’s arts and culture lift-out.
Despite this fact, the cartoonist gave a series of fiery comments to The Australian about the situation, saying “purge is the word that comes to mind”.
“Apparently, I’m out of touch with the readership.”
“Gay feels this type of cartoon is not in line with public sentiment, and The Age’s readership, who it does seem are largely in favour of the Andrews’ Covid narrative. But my job is to challenge the status quo, and that has always been the job of the cartoonist.”
Leunig has yet to remove the drawing from his socials and seemingly stands by his comparison.
The Age is now trialling new cartoonists.
Independent brand and digital agency, Archibald Williams (AW) has been appointed to lead the NBA account across the APAC region. The NBA is one of the most prestigious sporting leagues in the world and basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports in Australia. Effective immediately, AW said it was “excited” to work across all digital, […]
B&T's shining a light on industry folk prior to adland. Preference given to anyone purporting actual UFO abduction.
Leading digital outdoor company QMS has announced it is the first-ever inaugural partner for Most Contagious APAC, the landmark London event by creative and strategic intelligence company Contagious, which will be showcased in Australia on Tuesday, 12 December in Sydney and Wednesday, 13 December in Melbourne. Most Contagious is an event that delivers key advertising […]
Omnicom’s data and analytics division Annalect has partnered with Meta, giving it access to Advanced Analytics (AA) – one of Meta’s privacy-focused measurement solutions – to provide Omnicom’s clients with future-proof, next-level measurement. Omnicom is the first holding company to have access to AA. AA allows advertisers to combine their first-party data with Meta’s ads […]
WPP’s AKQA has launched Fixmas.gift, an environmentally conscious AI-powered DIY assistant, affectionately known as Fixie, for a one-stop solution for all things repair. Fixmas.gift hosts an array of guides and inspiration to empower people to prolong the lives of their belongings or purchase pre-owned items that need a little love and care. Fixie can: Help […]
Marc Collister (pictured) of P2 Content Creators spills the beans on his 2024 predictions drawing from two decades of experience in the advertising, film and television industry. I’m certain it will come as no surprise that in 2024, we can expect our industry to move at breakneck speed again. With even more rapid shifts in […]
Zeno Australia has announced expanded creative design capabilities and the appointment of Jim Michell (lead image) to its senior leadership team. The new moves support strong growth in the region. Zeno Australia’s clients, including Abano Healthcare, Motorola and Yorkshire Tea, can now tap into a suite of creative design services to augment the agency’s work […]
Assembled Media, is drawing upon the creative power of TikTok Creator Marketplace to help generate unique, impactful content for iconic stationery brand, BIC. The social activation campaign titled ‘A Pen for Every Side of You’ promotes the flexibility of BIC’s 4 Colours pen and is active nationwide on the BIC Stationery TikTok account. The campaign […]
Pinterest reckons jellyfish & moody cowboys will be big in 2024. Refused to be drawn on the return of shoulder pads.
IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]
Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising, announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]