New York, Feb.20 (ANI): The New York Post, which was the subject of a protest outside its Midtown headquarters and continued criticism from elected officials on Thursday over the publication of an editorial cartoon that linked a chimpanzee to the economic stimulus package, has issued an apology "to those who were offended," while maintaining that the cartoon was not intended to be racist.
The cartoon has been widely criticized as making an implicit comparison between the chimpanzee - a reference to a chimpanzee that was shot to death by a police officer in Connecticut on Monday after it brutally attacked a friend of its owner - and President Obama, who signed the stimulus package into law on Tuesday.
On Thursday evening, The Post published on its Web site the following editorial, which a spokeswoman said would also be published in its Friday print edition:
"Wednesday's Page Six cartoon - caricaturing Monday's police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut - has created considerable controversy. It shows two police officers standing over the chimp's body: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," one officer says. It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill. Period. But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize."
Hours after the cartoon appeared on Wednesday morning, The Post received hundreds of complaints from readers and criticism from Governor David A. Paterson, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand and the Reverend Al Sharpton among others.
Sharpton also held a protest outside The Post.
Also issuing statements condemning the cartoon were United States Representative Gregory W. Meeks of Queens, State Senator Hiram Monserrate of Queens, State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx, Councilman Charles Barron of Brooklyn, the Rev. Herbert D. Daughtry and other community leaders. (ANI)