The New York Times will stop publishing political cartoons next month, just weeks after facing criticism for publishing a cartoon that was widely considered anti-Semitic.
Patrick Chappatte, a long time cartoonist for the NYT, published a note on his personal website Monday announcing the publication’s decision.
In April 2019, a Netanyahu caricature from syndication reprinted in the international editions triggered widespread outrage, a Times apology and the termination of syndicated cartoons. Weeks later, my employers tell me they’re ending political cartoons altogether by July. I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon – not even mine – that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world.
Chappatte’s post refers to an NYT cartoon by António Moreira Antunes published in the international paper that was recieved critical pushback from the public and the media back in April for being anti-Semitic.
The image featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dachshund with a Star of David collar leading a blind President Donald Trump, who is wearing a yarmulke. There was no caption or text alongside the caricature.
James Bennet, the editorial page editor for The NYT, told CNN, “We’re very grateful for and proud of the work Patrick Chappatte and Heng Kim Song have done for the international edition of The New York Times, which circulates overseas; however, for well over a year we have been considering bringing that edition into line with the domestic paper by ending daily political cartoons and will do so beginning on July .”
He continued, “We plan to continue investing in forms of Opinion journalism, including visual journalism, that express nuance, complexity and strong voice from a diversity of viewpoints across all of our platforms.”
In response to the backlash The Times faced following the cartoon’s publication, the newspaper was forced to issue two separate statements, followed by a ban on all syndicated cartoons (like the image by Moreira Antunes), while also punishing the editor who published the cartoon.
The New York Times Opinion Twitter account tweeted their second apology, which read, “We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again.”
The NYT did not respond to a request for comment.