The Calgary Herald appropriately responded to criticism of an “inappropriate” cartoon showing the Lone Ranger character Tonto apparently drunk at a bar, Canada’s National News Media Council ruled.
As iMediaEthics previously reported, the Calgary Herald apologized for the cartoon, from John McPherson’s cartoon strip Close to Home. It showed the fictional Native American character Tonto holding a drink, with his head on the bar, and a caption reading, “Kemosabe! Tonto hear last call coming! Maybe eight or ten minutes away…” The Bangor Daily News also apologized for its publication of the cartoon.
The National News Media Council reported it got a complaint that the cartoon was racist. “The NNC is of the view that news media organizations are responsible for the third-party content they publish. It is worth noting that the syndication service and creator of the comic strip also issued an apology for the cartoon,” the council wrote.
However, because the Calgary Herald apologized and promised not to publish the cartoon strip again, the National News Media Council found that the paper “sent a strong message.”
“For these reasons, the NNC considers this matter resolved due to corrective action,” the National News Media Council ruled.
iMediaEthics has written to the Herald‘s publisher Postmedia.