Juan Valdez v Mike Peters lawsuit object cartoon
Mother Goose: Mmm, fresh Colombian coffee in the morning.
Ralph: You know there’s a big crime syndicate in Colombia…
Ralph: So, when they say there’s a little bit of Juan Valdez in every can, maybe they’re not kidding.
Grimm: Why are you drinking tea?
Mother Goose: Don’t ask.
Within hours, this strip by Mike Peters provoked conflicting opinions from Colombians who visited the website of the Bogotá daily El Tiempo yesterday where it was published.
The cartoon, which had been shown on 2 January in US newspapers, may trigger a lawsuit for damages, intellectual property infringement and defamation for linking organised crime activities with coffee producers, according to Gabriel Silva, manager ofthe National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers (Federacafé)
And it is said that they will ask for nothing more and nothing less than 20 million dollars in addition to a public demonstration by Mike where he retracts (How does a comedian retract a cartoon?) , to give him a whipping in the town square, they haven’t said anything yet. :D
I fear that it will be business as usual and that the case will turn against some and in favour of others, and thatthe lawsuit will remain in the noise as on many other occasions.
The issue has provoked such a debate that there is even talk of an official reaction from the Colombian government.
The work of cartoonist Mike Peters, creator of Mother Goose & Grimm and winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for journalism, is well known, as his strips and cartoons are distributed by agencies to hundreds of publications in the USA
The author sent a statement to the newspaper El Tiempo late Tuesday afternoon, 6 January, sent by Benjamin E. Keirn, art director of Grimmy Inc. and signed by Mike Peters, in which he apologised
The newspaper adds that Mike has not removed the discordant strip from his website, so I gather they suggest he should do so since they headline it with a curious “but” :
Mike Peters has apologised, but keeps his cartoon on his website
“First of all let me start by saying that I love Colombia. I love Colombians. One of the most memorable trips of my life was to Colombia
I had no thought of insulting Colombia any more than I had any thought of insulting Pringles, Betty Crocker, Col. Sanders, Dr. Pepper and Bartles & Jaymes. The comic strip was meant to be read in conjunction with a weekly series, the theme of which is based on the fact that the ashes of the inventor of the Pringles can were buried in one of them
I thought this was a humorous theme and all my Mother Goose & Grimm cartoons are made to make people laugh. I honestly didn’t think it was meant to be insulting.
To anyone I have offended, I ask that you please accept my sincerest apology.
Day 7 January, as expected, the publicity campaign begins to subside:
Federacafé to review authenticity of Peters’ apology letter and could drop lawsuit
“Coffee leaders could drop the lawsuit that the Federation expects to file next Friday through its U.S. law firm over the cartoon described as ‘defamatory. Read here
Facebook group of people who liked the cartoon
News in the newspaper El tiempo