Newspaper ‘Erred’ In Publishing Cartoon Of Immigrants Crashing Thanksgiving

The Indianapolis Star on Saturday said it “erred” in publishing a cartoon that depicted undocumented immigrants crashing a white family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

The cartoon by Gary Varvel showed the white family’s patriarch holding a turkey at the head of the table and saying “Thanks to the President’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.” A man in a mustache and two others are shown climbing into the family’s dining room through a window.

The cartoon was published Friday, the day after President Barack Obama announced executive actions to temporarily shield approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

At one point on Saturday, the newspaper apparently edited out the “immigrant” man’s mustache:

The newspaper later removed the cartoon altogether. Executive editor Jeff Taylor called the cartoon “inappropriate” in a column explaining its removal.

“Gary did not intend to be racially insensitive in his attempt to express his strong views about President Barack Obama’s decision to temporarily prevent the deportation of millions of immigrants living and working illegally in the United States,” Taylor wrote. “But we erred in publishing it.”

Taylor wrote that Gary instead meant to “illustrate the view of many conservatives and others that the president’s order will encourage more people to pour into the country illegally.” He added that removing the cartoon was not to be construed as a comment on Varvel’s particular take on the immigration debate.

“The depictions in this case were inappropriate; his point could have been expressed in other ways,” Taylor wrote.

View the cartoon below:

Screengrab via Margarita Noriega

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: