Several people have asked me why Tremain has been censored by the ODT because they had not seen the cartoon, just heard the fallout. So here it is:
Tremain has been accused of ‘casual and subliminal racism’, with this cartoon which the ODT Editors were slow to admit was offensive to many.
This is one of several Tremain cartoons printed dealing with measles’ resurgence. The disease transmission vector of holiday tourism is highlighted, but racial sensitivities surrounding 60+ recent measles deaths in Samoa are ignored. RNZ has reported that an outbreak of measles in Papua New Guinea killed 72 children last year and that there was a high of 7 measles deaths in NZ in 1991.
My view is that cartoonists need to criticise, offend, and indulge dark humour to make current, insightful or political points.
Sensitivity, virtue signalling, and tact should not be expected of cartoonists if they are to deal humorously with serious issues or social problems.
Human Tragedy is regularly dealt with in cartoons, both highlighting and sometimes defusing issues, and any subject that is political, tribal, racial or religious will always be offensive to some.
Measles has been a regular fatal scourge in most countries until the recent success of vaccination. Tremain has repeatedly dealt with the subject:
I miss Tremain’s candid cartoons in the ODT. Are we no longer allowed to be enraged or offended or to engage in black humour?
I look at the wimpy unimaginative cartoons that now take Tremain’s place and am saddened by the loss…