Wellington, May 30 (ANI): A cartoon made by award winning cartoonist Al Nisbet, which was published in two of New Zealand's daily newspapers, has been criticized for being "offensive and racist".
The cartoon published in Marlborough Express featured a group of adults dressed in school uniforms heading to school with bowls in hands, and a woman with a cigarette in her mouth saying: 'Psst. If we can get away with this, the more cash left for booze, smokes and pokies', reports Stuff.co.nz.
The other cartoon published in The Press read: 'Free school food is great. Eases our poverty and puts something in you kids' bellies.'
Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy called the cartoon as "offensive and racist", adding that they were a case of wrongful stereotyping of certain populations, and continues to stigmatize people who live in poverty, particularly children.
Prime Minister John Key did not see the cartoons himself, but as per the second hand reports said that the cartoon might not be to everyone's taste.
Meanwhile, the editor of The Press Joanna Norris refused to apologize for printing the cartoon saying that she is not a censor and addressing the root cause of children going hungry need to be prioritized by the government.
Marlborough Express editor Steve Mason said the intention of publishing the cartoon was to provoke discussion about a really important social issue and not hurt people's sentiment.
Nisbet said that the outcry was unexpected as he is not a racist and the cartoons were not intended to be one. It was rather directed at those who complain of poverty and yet blow their money on booze, fags and pokies.
MPs and Twitter users vented their anger against the 'racist' cartoon. Some urging Devoy to take action against the act and if the law meant that the cartoon did not convey racism then the law should be changed, the report added. (ANI)