Grant Woolard, a cartoonist for the University of Viginia’s Cavalier Daily has been forced to resign after a controversy erupted over one of his cartoons, entitled “Ethiopian Food Fight” which showed emaciated African men fighting with chairs and other objects.
The drawing prompted strong condemnation from the university’s black community. On Wednesday evening, nearly 200 people staged a sit-in outside the paper’s office in Newcomb Hall, demanding an apology and for Woolard to be fired.
The managing board met that first demand on Thursday with an apology published in the paper’s lead editorial. Woolard also apologized.
“This is settled now,” the dean of African-American Affairs, Maurice Apprey, said on Monday. “Also, we now have the opportunity for better dialogue between student groups and the Cavalier Daily.”
“I think the young man who wrote the cartoon was operating under the principle that there can be multiple meanings to a cartoon. But what he did not seem to understand is that what you intend is not necessarily how something will be received. That shows immaturity on his part and I think this is an important lesson for him,” Apprey said.
Woolard is still in fighting mode over his dismissal, and says that his editors approved the strip; three other cartoonsits have quit to protest his firing. It was not Woolard’s first brush with controversy, however. Last year he drew criticism for a cartoon showing Christ being crucified on Cartesian X and Y quadrants (above), which would be funny if anyone could understand it.