U.Va. cartoonist fired

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September 14, 2007

4:12 AM

Grant Woolard, graphics editor at the University of Virginia’s student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, was forced to resign Monday after a week of controversy stemming from a cartoon published Sept. 4. The cartoon, “Ethiopian Food Fight,” depicted black men in loin cloths holding random household objects.

p. The strip was criticized by U.Va. students and faculty for being “distasteful, crude and insensitive.” While several students called for Woolard to be fired, chapter president, Brandon Kelley, said that the NAACP did not formally call for Woolard’s resignation.

p. In the Sept. 12 edition of the Washington Post, Woolard said that his intent was to raise awareness for global hunger, but he “lacked the foresight [to anticipate] the reaction.”

p. Members of U.Va.’s administration also condemned the comic in a Sept. 6 letter to the editor, in which they said the comic lacked “discernible journalistic merit.”

p. In a statement published by Charlottesville’s local television news station WCAV, Woolard reiterated that the meaning of the comic was simply misconstrued.

p. Herb Ladley, editor-in-chief of The Cavalier Daily, told the Washington Post this was not the first time Woolard’s cartoons caused controversy. Other cartoons he published, including one depicting the Virgin Mary with a sexually transmitted disease, caused student protest.

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