A German cartoonist apologized — and his newspaper altered his work — after a drawing of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as an octopus reminded too many of Nazi propaganda.
The illustration appeared alongside a story about Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion.
Burkhard Mohr told the Associated Press he regrets “this misunderstanding and any readers’ feelings I may have hurt.”
He also said anti-Semitism was “totally alien” to him.
The drawing depicted an octopus with an oversized nose using its tentacles to control several computer terminals.
After complaints, Sueddeutsche Zeitung ran a cartoon that replaced Zuckerberg’s face with what looks like an empty doorway.
Ger. cartoonist apologizes for drawing Zuckerberg as hook-nosed octopus. "Anti-Semitism and racism are alien to me." pic.twitter.com/M8W3P4s9sl— Charles Hawley (@charles_hawley) February 25, 2014
That wasn’t enough for some.
Efraim Zuroff of the Wiesenthal Center said it reminded him of a famous Second World War era cartoon. Josef Plank drew Winston Churchill as an octopus, with a Star of David over his head.
“And if anyone has any doubts about the anti-Semitic dimension of the cartoon, we can point to Mark Zuckerberg’s very prominent nose, which is not the case in real life,” Zuroff told the Jerusalem Post. “Absolutely disgusting.”
BBC reported this isn’t the first charges of anti-Semitism against Sueddeutsche Zeitung. It ran a cartoon last year that depicted Israel as a monster.
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