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Jacinta Allan rages at ‘sexualised’ cartoon showing the new Victorian premier walking naked down a catwalk: ‘It’s not the 1950s’


A newspaper cartoonist has offended Victoria’s new premier Jacinta Allan after he drew her walking down a catwalk completely naked.

The cartoon was published by the Herald Sun’s Mark Knight on Tuesday, depicting the Labor leader nude on the runway of Melbourne Fashion Week in a reference to the fable of the ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’.

‘From the Commonwealth Games cancellation collection … the premier’s new clothes,’ the cartoon’s caption reads. 

The Walkley Award-winning cartoonist was attempting to link the folktale to Ms Allan’s questioning by a committee into the cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. 

Ms Allan objected to the depiction, saying women deserved to be able to see themselves in the media in a way that ‘doesn’t use sexualised imagery’.

Mr Knight vehemently defended his cartoon, saying it is not ‘sexist’ and instead described it is as fair ‘political comment’.

The premier criticised the cartoon while speaking to the media on Tuesday.

‘It’s 2023 and I think it’s pretty reasonable to expect that the Herald Sun in-house cartoonist should be able to draw women without using sexualised imagery,’ Ms Allan said.

‘I think it’s pretty reasonable for women, regardless of profession or background, to be able to have themselves represented in a way that doesn’t use sexualised imagery.

‘It’s not the 1950s, it’s 2023.’

When asked if she had seen any male politicians being drawn naked on a catwalk, Ms Allan responded: ‘Not to my recollection’.

Former Labor premier of Victoria between 1999 and 2007, Steve Bracks, also condemned the cartoon, saying: ‘we need to do better’. 

‘I was premier for almost eight years and not once was I subjected to this awful, sexualised treatment,’ he said.

‘Premier Jacinta Allan has received in less than a month. We need to do better.’

The leader of the opposition in the state’s upper house, Georgie Crozier, defended the cartoon and called the backlash a ‘distraction’ to policy debate.

‘There are bigger issues facing Victoria than the premier worrying about a cartoon,’ Ms Crozier said.

‘The premier has been fully exposed and needs to front the Commonwealth Games inquiry and tell Victorians what happened.’

Herald Sun cartoonist, Mark Knight, has come under fire from Victorian premier, Jacinta Allan (pictured), after he drew her naked while on the catwalk at a fashion show

Herald Sun cartoonist, Mark Knight, has come under fire from Victorian premier, Jacinta Allan (pictured), after he drew her naked while on the catwalk at a fashion show

Poll

Do you think the cartoon of Jacinta Allan is sexist?

  • Yes 85 votes
  • No 391 votes

Mr Knight defended his stance on his presentation of politicians, having produced a cartoon of Mr Andrews appearing naked in reference to the iconic album cover of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’.

He has also previously drawn both opposition leader Peter Dutton and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott nude.

Mr Knight drew the cartoon of Ms Allan after she was questioned by the committee into the Commonwealth Games on Monday. 

‘I felt that some of the information that was coming out left the premier a little bit exposed and my cartoonist brain clicked into gear, and it was Fashion Week and, I thought, “well, this is not a bad idea”,’ Knight told ABC Radio. 

Mr Knight later told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell that he doesn’t ‘see the premier as a woman’ but just as ‘the premier’, and would have drawn any politician in that scenario in the same way.

‘If Daniel Andrews was still premier, I would have drawn him on that catwalk in the same position.

‘I thought it was a very fair and non-sexualised comment on the premier using an age-old folktale.’

The fable was first published in 1837 by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and is a cautionary tail about a vain emperor.

in the tail, the emperor is conned into buying a suit made of fabric that can not be seen by those who are stupid or incompetent.

The conmen then pretend to weave a suit and mime dressing him in it, to which the emperor does not resist so he as not to appear stupid.

The emperor, believing to be dressed in a fine suit, then parades himself naked throughout the town.

Mr Knight (pictured) defended his cartoon, saying it was fair 'political commentary' and that he would have drawn former premier Daniel Andrews in the same way

Mr Knight (pictured) defended his cartoon, saying it was fair ‘political commentary’ and that he would have drawn former premier Daniel Andrews in the same way





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