The West Australian Newspaper has officially apologized for the racist cartoon slurs published in their paper on Monday, with a front page apology expected to be published today (1st, July, 2020).
Offensive wordings used in The Modesty Blaise comic strip have cause outrage within the community.
The West also stated that the comic will no longer be published after its 48 years run since 1972.
In a statement released this evening by Editor-In-Chief Anthony De Ceglie, the newspaper says they are “deeply sorry” and “apologized for any hurt that cartoon has caused”.
“Racism has sadly been pervasive in this country because it has been casualised for too long. Even when a company or a government body or an individual is trying hard to stamp it out, it can still seep through because its spread was, and still is, so far-reaching,” he wrote.
“In Monday’s newspaper, The West Australian published a Modesty Blaise cartoon that contained offensive racial stereotypes and slurs we consider abhorrent. We are deeply sorry and we apologise for any hurt that cartoon has caused.”
“It does not reflect this newspaper’s editorial stance in any way and we are especially aghast because we feel our current team has worked hard to report on racial injustice in a mature and sensible manner while uncovering marginalisation and holding it to account wherever we can.”
Mr De Ceglie stated that an immediate review was carried out following the mistake, blaming external automated process for the error.
The editor-in-chief says the newspaper has re-established its in-house checking process to make sure offensive materials will not be published again.
“An immediate review was conducted as soon as the mistake became apparent. The page and its material is composed externally through an automated process. We have been in touch with the company that produced it to express our deep concerns and have been told it too has instigated an immediate review.”
“We have also re-established an in-house checking process to ensure this type of offensive material is not published again. The West Australian has also decided it will no longer publish Modesty Blaise. The comic strip had been running for 48 years since 1972 , but it no longer has a place in the pages of The West Australian nor does it reflect our company’s culture or values under my watch.”