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Eusebius McKaiser: Finding a Cartoon Distasteful Isn’t Ground for Limiting Artistic Freedom

Could I Vote DA?Columnist and author of Could I Vote DA?, Eusebius McKaiser, has commented on the fake Zapiro cartoon of president Jacob Zuma getting a colonoscopy that had Twitter ablaze over the weekend.

An old Zapiro cartoon of a doctor finding the then president George W Bush’s brain up his backside during a colonoscopy was used with Zuma’s face from a different cartoon superimposed over it. People had commented that Zapiro is taking freedom of speech “too far”.

McKaiser points out the difference between finding something distasteful, and having your human dignity trampled. “If I find a cartoon distasteful, tough luck. That isn’t a good legal ground to limit the cartoonist’s right to artistic freedom. It simply reflects my sense of what is tasteful, and that is deeply subjective … I hate pork tjops, and the idea of pork tjops on a pizza disgusts me. But it doesn’t follow that Debonairs violate my dignity with their wacky combos.”

Johannesburg – Some South Africans seem to be puzzled by how best to respond to a cartoon they don’t like. They respond instinctively by asserting that freedom of speech is abused.

Others add with an ominous tone that cartoonists should be lucky that in our country they have freedom to insult. The unsubtle implication being that maybe cartoonists have too much freedom to sketch as they please.

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