The French cartoonist Xavier Gorce (1962) announced he was quitting Le Monde after the newspaper apologised for a cartoon about a sexual abuse scandal. In her apology to readers, Le Monde editor-in-chief Caroline Monnot said the cartoon should not have been published.
The author said blunt on his decision:
“I announce that I have decided to stop working immediately for Le Monde.A personal, unilateral and final decision. Freedom is non-negotiable. My cartoons will continue
In the cartoon, the author presents two penguins. The smaller one asks the other:
“If I have been abused by the adopted step-brother of my transsexual father’s partner who has now become my mother, is that incest?
The cartoon alludes to the scandal allegation that intellectual and political commentator Olivier Duhamel has sexually abused his stepson. Duhamel is under criminal investigation after his stepdaughter Camille Kouchner accused Duhamel of having abused her twin brother when he was 14 years old.
As has become tradition, staffers took to Tuiter, many under the hashtahg #MeTooIncestesome felt that the seriousness of acts of incest were relativised by using derogatory terms towards the victims and transgender people. Others accused Gorce of transphobia and of mocking victims of sexual abuse. Alongside all of them, those who continue to defend freedom of expression in humour.
Gorce responded as cartoonists usually do, with another cartoon in which two penguins appear again, but now they are two adults. One of them asks the other:
“Do you have your health passport for a sense of humour?
Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (III)
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.