French satire magazine, Charlie Hebdo, has sparked outrage once again for a cartoon on their cover. The cartoon shows the Queen of England kneeling on Duchess Meghan Markle's neck.
The publication's controversial illustration came only days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed they experienced open racism from family members and staff in the royal family. This happened during a shocking Oprah interview.
The image appears to be replicating the horrifying death of George Floyd. Floyd died after a police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. The cartoon on the front cover of the magazine says: "Why Meghan quit Buckingham". The Queen is portrayed pressing her knee in the back of Meghan's neck, while Meghan replies: "Because I couldn't breathe anymore".
The cartoon soon faced backlash from people on social media and activists who have branded the cartoon as 'wrong' and 'appalling'.
The CEO of race equality think tank, Runnymede Dr Halima Begum also spoke out about the cartoon and 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.”
The campaign group WindrushAnchor, also responded and 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.”
A Twitter user also spoke out regarding the "disrespectful" cartoon, writing: "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."
This is, however, not the first time Charlie Hebdo has seen backlash regarding one of his comic drawings. Hebdo was attacked at the beginning of 2015 by Islamist fanatics after they published a cartoon that was said to have insulted the Prophet, Mohammed. Several cartoonists and twelve other people were killed in the onslaught who were said to have continually mocked Islam.
The magazine is now being published from a secret headquarters in Paris. Hebdo is frequently accused of racism and Islamophobia. However, Hebdo denies all claims, saying that it is fully entitled to mock anybody it chooses.
Even though some people simply expressed their outrage at the Charlie Hebdo cover, the 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. This magazine is notorious for being racist and offensive and gaslighting people of color. This magazine needs to be removed!" He said.