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France's Top Newspaper Apologizes for Anti-Trans Cartoon, Artist Quits

Le Monde

Le Monde published a cartoon mocking sexual assault and transgender identity.

France's leading newspaper has issued an apology for printing a transphobic cartoon.

Le Monde published the offending cartoon Tuesday. In it, a smaller penguin asks a larger one, "If I was abused by the adopted half-brother of the partner of my transgender father who has now become my mother, is that incest?"

The artist, Xavier Gorce, was referring to a recent scandal involving Olivier Duhamel, a prominent French political voice who was accused of sexually abusing his stepson.

The drawing sparked a backlash on social media for its mocking of survivors of abuse and transgender people. In response, Caroline Monnot, Le Monde's editor in chief, apologized.

"This drawing can indeed be read as relativizing the seriousness of acts of incest, using inappropriate terms towards victims and transgender people," she said, reports France 24, a Paris-based news source.

Gorce announced his resignation from Le Monde on Twitter in response to Monnot's apology, framing the controversy as an attack on free speech. "It is a personal, unilateral, and definitive decision. Freedom cannot be negotiated. My drawings will continue," he said.

His final cartoon was of one penguin asking another, "Do you have your sanitary passport of humor?" Both cartoons are still viewable on Le Monde's website.

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