The University of Notre Dame is being rocked by a controversy over an anti-gay cartoon printed in the student-run newspaper, The Observer.
The cartoon depicts a conversation between two figures that reads:
“What’s the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?"
“A baseball bat.”
Earlier, the cartoonist, who has not yet been named, posted the original version of the cartoon on his blog. In this version, it shows the punch line as “AIDS” instead of “a baseball bat.” The paper, he claimed, preferred “not to make light of fatal diseases.”
In a statement to the press today, The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) claimed “The Observer made a dangerously misguided decision that promoting violence was somehow superior to making fun of HIV/AIDS. Both versions of the cartoon were abhorrent.”
GLAAD contacted The Observer’s editor, Jenn Metz, who relayed a tearful apology by phone. She explained that she was not present when the decision to run the cartoon was made, and that she was incredibly upset that others on staff had made that decision.
An apology printed in the paper this morning included the following:
The editors of The Observer would like to publicly apologize for the publication of “The Mobile Party” in the Jan. 13 edition. The burden of responsibility ultimately lies on us for allowing it to go to print. There is no excuse that can be given and nothing that can be said to reverse the damage that has already been done by this egregious error in judgment.
Allowing this cruel and hateful comic a place on our pages disgraced those values and severely hurt members of our Notre Dame family — our classmates, our friends. For this, we sincerely apologize. Unfortunately, the language of hate is an everyday reality in our society.”