The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is under heavy criticism in the UK. The occasion is a cartoon about Meghan Markle and the Queen.
The cartoons in question grace the cover of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine. Titled “Why Meghan Leave Buckingham”, the smiling Queen Elizabeth can be seen implanting her knee in Meghan Markle’s neck. Because I can no longer breathe, Markle replies.
It is a clear reference to the last words of George Floyd, the man who was killed last year when a police officer placed his knee on the neck of a black American for nine minutes during his arrest in Minneapolis. The issue sparked worldwide “Black Lives Matter” protests.
There is an angry reaction to the cartoons across the channel. “This is wrong in any way,” Halima Begum, executive director of the Runnymede Trust, wrote on Twitter. This doesn’t challenge, it doesn’t make anyone laugh, or it makes people think about racism. It reduces those issues and abuse.
“A weak and ill-thinking answer from Charlie Hebdo makes things worse,” says the non-profit Windrush Anchor. This kind of simplistic sarcasm has no place in the fight against racism. Frankly awful and sad.
The cartoon follows Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s controversial interview about their move to the United States. In it, they accused Buckingham Palace of racism. Prince William defended the royal family last week. He said his family is not racist at all. Queen Elizabeth takes Meghan and Harry’s allegations of racism “very seriously,” but “the memories may be different.”