News Corp banned from Pride festival over ‘gay Nazi’ cartoons
The world’s largest news publisher has been banned from a Pride event and LGBT film festival, over shocking homophobic cartoons.
The Midsumma Festival, an “anual LGBTQI+ Celebration, is a federation of arts and cultural events”, is set to take place next month.
Organisers had come under pressure to cut links with News Corp, over homophobic cartoons printed in The Australian. One recent cartoon likened gay people to Nazi stormtroopers during a debate over same-sex marriage. Other cartoons published by the newsapepr target LGBT-inclusive sex education lessons and feature crude homophobic stereotypes.
The Murdoch paper printed the shocking cartoon from controversial artist Bill Leak, depicting Nazi soldiers as homosexuals wearing rainbow outfits and carrying brutal weapons.
The cartoon is captioned ‘Waffen-SSM’, a play on words linking ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ and the Nazi Party’s military Waffen-SS wing, which was responsible for numerous war crimes.
In a statement this week following a Change.org petition, Midsumma organisers confirmed that a planned advertising deal with the Herald Sun newspaper had been axed, and that News Corp would be banned from holding a stall or marching in Pride.
The organisers confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald: “In light of continued concerns expressed to us, we have decided that we will now not be taking up any of the advertising benefits of the partnership offered by the Herald Sun to us for the 2017 festival under this sponsorship.
“The Herald Sun will not be marching at Midsumma Pride March or holding a stall at Carnival in 2017.
“Ongoing and relentless reaction to this issue is affecting not only our team but the 130+ artist and community groups who make up our open access festival and who utilise it as their main platform each year to express themselves, celebrate and share their voices and stories.
“We are a small team trying to do big things for a large and very diverse community, in a world that feels significantly more difficult for us all as we head into 2017.
“A full review of all partnership outcomes and value alignment is already planned and will be undertaken after the 2017 festival.”