(PCM) Recently, The Boston Herald ran a cartoon that depicted President Obama in the White House bathroom brushing his teeth with a white man sitting the bathtub behind him asking “Have you tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste?”.
The creator of the cartoon, Jerry Holbert claims that he created the cartoon to mock the recent secret service security breach that occurred at the White House and makes fun of the fact that media is reporting that the intruder got further onto the property than initially reported.
The Boston Herald has now issued a public apology for running the cartoon after they received a ton of backlash from the public deeming the cartoon to be incredibly racist. People specifically called out the use of “watermelon” as the toothpaste flavor chosen as it completely plays off the stereotype that African American people are particularly fans of that particular fruit flavor.
Holbert however stands by his claim that the cartoon was not meant to be racist and it was only meant to showcase light-hearted humor about the situation, not to offend. He says he chose watermelon as the flavor because that is the flavor of Colgate toothpaste that he happened to see in his kid’s bathroom the morning he created the sketch.
When the cartoon was set to be published in the syndicate newspapers, Holbert was asked to change “watermelon” to “raspberry” to which he complied even though his expressed disagreement. He does regret not alerting the Herald to the syndicates requested change.
For the record, Holbert also claims that he detests racist humor and would never purposefully contribute to it, however it does appear his cartoon suggested otherwise!