Controversial cartoon upheld by press council p. 13

By: Mark Fitzgerald A TORONTO SUN editorial cartoon that suggested the local province's female attorney general was too unattractive to be sexually assaulted was "insensitive" and "offensive," the Ontario Press Council ruled ? but it was nonetheless protected opinion.
The council declined to uphold complaints about the cartoon from two Ontario legislators, who said the cartoon wrongly implied that only attractive women are victims of sexual assault.
The May 4 cartoon showed Attorney General Marion Boyd ? depicted as quite portly ? announcing the launch of Sexual Assault Prevention Month. In the foreground, a man in the audience says, "Surely, she can't be speaking from experience."
One of the legislators, Sharon Murdock, attacked the cartoon ? and a subsequent Sun editorial reaction to the furor, entitled "No apologies" ? on the floor of the Ontario legislature.
"It was readily apparent that the thrust of the cartoon was a personal, ugly and unjustified comment on Ms. Boyd's appearance," Murdock said.
For its part, the newspaper described the cartoon, by corporate art director Andrew Donato, as a defensibly angry reaction to Boyd's "sweeping, generalized, overly melodramatic and politically correct statements by a key cabinet minister and a government that [Donato], and we, believe often has an anti-male bias and agenda."
The Sun said it took issue specifically with Boyd's statements that girls are routinely sexually assaulted by boys at elementary and high schools.
In its ruling, the press council ? a voluntary organization of nearly all the daily and weekly papers in Ontario ? rejected the complaint, saying that "as a matter of policy, [it] extends to cartoonists, editorial writers and columnists wide latitude in expressing opinions, no mater how controversial or unpopular the opinions may be."
? ( The Controversial Cartoon) [Photo & Caption]


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