The well-known French satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ is under fire for its latest cover. It features a cartoon that Meghan Markle can’t breathe because the British Queen Elizabeth suffocates her with her knee. A reference to George Floyd, the black arrestee who died in tragic circumstances. Activists call the image “wrong on every level”.
The cartoon is motivated by the interview that Meghan and her husband Prince Harry recently gave to Oprah Winfrey. In it, the duchess accused the British royal family of racism, including around their son Archie.
“Why Meghan left Buckingham Palace,” headlines Charlie Hebdo this week. The Duchess answers in a speech bubble. “Because I couldn’t breathe anymore.” Markle, meanwhile, is in pain under the knee of a mean-looking Queen Elizabeth.
Many twitterers think that the magazine has gone too far. “This is wrong on every level,” said Halima Begum, the head of a British equality think tank.
“This is wrong on every level. The Queen as George Floyd’s murderer crushing Meghan’s neck? Meghan saying she’s unable to breathe? This doesn’t push boundaries, make anyone laugh or challenge racism. It demeans the issues & causes offence, across the board,” it sounds on Twitter.
Journalist Nadine White, the ‘race editor’ of the newspaper ‘The Independent’, calls the cover “disgusting”.
The human rights activist who allows himself to be called StanceGrounded on social media is also excited. “This magazine is notorious for its racism and insults. They laugh at Floyd’s death. The magazine must be withdrawn from the market,” he tweeted.
Others emphasize that this should be possible because it is about satire. “I will defend freedom of speech until my death, but this insensitive attempt at satire does not fit that line,” says Begum.
George Floyd died in May. The black American was arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 note. He was crushed to the ground by several officers and died because white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck for minutes.
Floyd’s next of kin receive 27 million dollars from the city of Minneapolis (Minnesota). The trial of 44-year-old Chauvin began earlier this week. The verdict is expected at the end of April. The trial of three other agents, suspected of complicity, will begin on August 23.