Home Cartoonist Aislin cartoon at center of US discrimination lawsuit

Aislin cartoon at center of US discrimination lawsuit


“Phototoon” depicting then-President Donald Trump wearing a Ku Klux Klan balaclava “is the most popular cartoon I’ve ever created on the internet.”

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A former Delta Air Lines flight attendant files an employment discrimination complaint, saying she was fired for posting an editorial cartoon on her personal Facebook page by Montreal Gazette political cartoonist Aislin who represented then-President Donald Trump wearing a Ku Klux Klan balaclava, CNN reported. Saturday.

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The image includes a quote balloon above the head of the debate moderator who said: ‘Thank you Mr President for wearing your mask.’

In the August 8 lawsuit in Atlanta Federal District Court, Leondra Taylor, who is black, said she posted the image of Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate, which was held on September 29, 2020. It was published online that evening and on October 1 in the print edition of the Montreal Gazette.

On Sunday, Terry Mosher – the political cartoon giant who goes by the name Aislin in his editorial work – provided the context for the image by describing the idea while watching the debate.

“Masks were so in the news at the time because of COVID — and the idea came to me,” Mosher said.

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Trump, who was asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace to speak out against white supremacist groups and their role in the violence, refused to do so, at one point telling the neo-fascist group Proud Boys to “stand back and stay away “.

Recalled Mosher: “I took a picture of the actual debate. I created a Ku Klux Klan mask, dropped it on Trump’s head, then dropped it in the balloon with the text.

He called the image a phototoon. “They’re very popular – and they adapt so well to the internet. I do it a lot, I manipulate the photo and have fun with it,” he said.

Once the cartoon was approved by editors, it was published on The Gazette’s homepage, and Mosher posted it on Facebook and Twitter, with a pointer to The Gazette’s homepage.

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Within 24 hours, the image “had 2 million views and had gone around the world. I stopped counting after that,” he said.

“This is the most popular cartoon I’ve ever created on the internet.”

Since the story of Taylor’s lawsuit broke on Saturday, Mosher said he’s heard from friends that the image is once again being widely posted online. “I guess you can’t keep a good cartoon down,” he said.

“But there is a serious side to this: Does this mean companies can tell you what you can and cannot post on your Facebook page? This woman has my full support because I don’t think any company has the right to monitor their own personal communication tools, be it Facebook or Twitter,” he said.

Mosher admitted, like most of us, that he doesn’t know the full story of Taylor’s firing. But if she was fired for posting the image on her Facebook page, he said, “then that’s a dangerous precedent.”

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According to CNN, the lawsuit says that, during a review of Taylor’s Facebook page triggered by another employee, Delta “came across political posts that it deemed violated its social media policy.”

According to the lawsuit, a group of Delta employees told Taylor in January 2021 that her posts were unacceptable and that they “did not tolerate disrespectful, hateful, or discriminatory posts.”

A month later, according to the lawsuit, Delta informed Taylor that she intended to “suspend her employment” and a Delta official said her “political positions were racially motivated” and that was the reason for his dismissal.

Taylor is suing for general damages for mental and emotional suffering, punitive damages and lost wages.

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Her lawsuit alleges that Delta discriminated against Taylor and argues that her posts were “political statements, but they weren’t hateful or discriminatory.” He also argues that non-Black Delta employees were not subject to the same penalties for social media posts.

A Delta spokesperson responded to CNN in a statement regarding Taylor’s lawsuit: “When Delta employees mix the Delta brand with conduct or content that does not reflect our values ​​of professionalism, inclusion and respect, such conduct may result in disciplinary action or termination.

“While personnel issues are considered private between Delta and its employees, the circumstances described by our former employee do not constitute an accurate or complete explanation for the company’s termination decision.”

Mosher, for his part, joked, “I would like to thank Delta for giving a second life to one of my very good cartoons.”

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  1. Terry Mosher's portrayal of the 1972 Canada-Russia Hockey Summit Series was selected for a stamp by Canada Post in 2021.

    A national treasure: 50 years of Aislin in the Montreal Gazette

  2. Gallery: Aislin and other cartoonists — August 2022

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