The above cartoon, making light of a parent who would murder a child just for being gay, appeared Tuesday in the University of Arizona’s Daily Wildcat, a student newspaper. The entire staff, as well as editor-in-chief Kristina Bui, apologized for running it:
On Tuesday, the Daily Wildcat staff made a serious error in judgment in printing a cartoon that some readers felt was homophobic and inappropriate. We heard from several readers who expressed their disappointment and hurt over the comic strip.
The Arizona Daily Wildcat is now reviewing its editorial policies and has terminated the employment of the cartoonist as of Wednesday. His views do not represent the views of the Wildcat staff, nor does the Wildcat represent the views of the university.
The “etc.” cartoon in question illustrated a parent threatening their child if he ever came out, and the two characters joke about the threat. We agree with the criticism we’ve met, and we apologize. The comic was not funny.
Printing the comic strip was a failure to weigh the perspectives and experiences of others. We regret our mistake, and that we cannot take back the damage it has caused. We’re sorry.
It is an understatement to say that “some readers felt” the cartoon was homophobic and inappropriate. It is an essential fact that the cartoon is homophobic and inappropriate — it serves no other purpose but to find humor in the murder of LGBT youth. The Wildcat staff has responded in seemingly every way that it can, but the damage has been done. That such a cartoon would ever be drawn by a newspaper staff member, let alone be printed, is a harsh reminder that violently anti-gay attitudes persist throughout schools and society.