The controversial French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is facing a backlash after publishing a cover cartoon on Saturday that shows Queen Elizabeth kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck.
The cartoon (see below), designed to invoke the image of the Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, has shocked people and sparked outrage.
The image is captioned, “Why Meghan quit Buckingham.” It shows a cartoon version of the Queen with an evil smile on her face while kneeling on the neck of a cartoon version of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.
Markle is depicted in the cartoon as looking distressed and gasping for breath. She answers the question that the caption poses, saying, “Because I couldn’t breathe anymore.”
Markle alleged the Royal Family did not protect her
The latest development comes after CBS aired Meghan Markle and her Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah.
During the interview last Sunday, Markle accused the Royal Family of failing to fulfill their promise to protect her from negative media coverage. She also alleged that they refused to come forward to correct falsehoods about her and Prince Harry being spread by the media.
She claimed that Palace officials refused to help when she told them that she needed mental health support after having suicidal thoughts.
She also claimed that members of the Royal Family told her that her son, Archie, will not receive a royal title and security protection — which she said left her worrying about her son’s safety.
Markle also told Oprah that a member of the Royal Family expressed concern about Archie’s skin color, but she and Harry declined to name the royal.
Twitter users outraged by Charlie Hebdo cartoon
The Charlie Hebdo cartoon appears to be an attempt to draw a parallel between Markle’s allegedly unheeded request for help and George Floyd’s unheeded appeals that he couldn’t breathe while Chauvin knelt on his neck.
But many Twitter users condemned it as being in bad taste and described it as offensive, racist, and xenophobic.
Others insisted that the cartoon mocked the circumstances of George Floyd’s death and “dismissed” Markle’s racism allegations.
However, some social media users thought that people missed the intention behind the comparison, saying it was not meant to mock Floyd or dismiss Markle’s claim, but express support for her cause.
Charlie Hebdo published a controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoon in 2015
Charlie Hebdo has a history of courting controversy by publishing provocative cartoons that target public figures, secular, and religious institutions.
The magazine famously published a Prophet Mohammed cartoon in 2015 that Muslims around the world condemned as offensive and insulting to the Islamic religion.
The incident ended tragically when two Muslim brothers forced their way into the magazine’s newsroom in Paris and opened fire, killing several member of the magazine’s staff.