Thursday , February 2 2023

Fury as Charlie Hebdo magazine cover shows Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck

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French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo has come under fire for a cartoon which shows the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck, drawing parallels to the death of George Floyd.

The publication, which has faced scrutiny before for its controversial drawings, has sparked outrage again just days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed they experienced open racism from family members and staff in the royal family.

The image appears to be replicating the horrifying death of George Floyd who died after police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes , despite Floyd’s desperate pleas for help crying, ‘I can’t breathe’.

On the front cover of the magazine, the cartoon is displayed with the headline: ‘Why Meghan quit Buckingham.’

The Queen is depicted pressing her knee in the back of the Duchess’s neck, and Meghan replies: ‘Because I couldn’t breathe anymore.’

It comes as Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired this week, with claims they experienced racism within the royal family.

The latest cartoon on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo's front page titled 'Why Meghan quit Buckingham' depicts the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle's neck as the Duchess says 'because I couldn't breathe anymore', drawing comparisons to the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last May

The latest cartoon on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo’s front page titled ‘Why Meghan quit Buckingham’ depicts the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck as the Duchess says ‘because I couldn’t breathe anymore’, drawing comparisons to the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last May

People on social media and activists have branded the cartoon ‘wrong’ and ‘appalling’.

CEO of race equality think tank Runnymede Dr Halima Begum tweeted: ‘Charlie Hebdo, this is wrong on every level. The Queen as  George Floyd’s murderer crushing Meghan’s neck?

‘Meghan saying she’s unable to breathe? This doesn’t push boundaries, make anyone laugh or challenge racism.

‘It demeans the issues & causes offence, across the board.’

In response, campaign group WindrushAnchor, said: ‘A poor and ill-conceived response from Charlie Hebdo which if anything inflames the issue.

‘This brand of simplistic satire has no place in the fight against racism. Utterly appalling and deeply saddening.’

Another Twitter user wrote: ‘Is this the free speech that Charlie Hebdo is so passionate about? Racism, disrespect and offence passed off as satire? I’m sorry but no Je suis for me.

‘This is nothing but racist bigotry and inciting hate. Do better with your platform and grow up.’

And Black and Asian Lawyers ForJustice tweeted that the cover was ‘outrageous, disgusting, fascistic racism’ adding that the magazine was ‘pimping George Floyd’s trauma for profit’.

George Floyd’s death in May 2020 sparked outrage as video footage emerged of a police officer kneeling on his neck despite him saying he couldn’t breathe and members of the public pleading for him to stop.

Black Lives Matter protests took place across the world to speak out against police brutality and racial inequality after his death in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The latest cartoon draws parallels with the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last year

The latest cartoon draws parallels with the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last year 

Activists and campaigners have taken to Twitter to share their disgust at the latest Charlie Hebdo cartoon, branding it 'appalling' and 'wrong'

Activists and campaigners have taken to Twitter to share their disgust at the latest Charlie Hebdo cartoon, branding it ‘appalling’ and ‘wrong’

Just this week The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to pay an unprecedented $27million to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd’s family over his death in police custody.

The news of the settlement was announced as jury selection continued in the murder trial of Chauvin, who killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes last summer.’

And while some have simply expressed their outrage at the Charlie Hebdo cover, a human and civil rights activist @_SJPeace is calling for the magazine to be removed.

‘A French magazine is laughing about Floyd’s death…and Meghan Markle,’ he said.

‘This magazine is notorious for being racist and offensive and gaslighting people of color. This magazine needs to be removed!’

Chauvin is seen kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25. Shortly afterward, Floyd was pronounced dead at the scene

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About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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