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’.
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 controversial cartoon, which has sparked outrage online and among campaigners and activists, comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired this week. Pictured: The Queen and Meghan Markle together in July 2018
During the interview (pictured), the royal couple claimed they experienced open racism from family members and staff in the royal family
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.
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?
The latest cartoon draws parallels with the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last year
‘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.’
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.
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
During the shocking Oprah interview Harry and Meghan claimed they had experienced open racism from family members and staff, and alleged a member of Harry’s family even expressed ‘concern’ about ‘how dark’ their unborn son would be.
There has been much speculation about which member of the royal family they were accusing of racism.
But during the interview the couple would not be drawn on who had deeply offended them.
They also said the family had been unsupportive of the pressures they were going through, leaving Meghan feeling suicidal and fuelling their decision to quit the UK.
Harry said he felt let down by his father, who, he claimed, refused to take his calls at one point, and admitted there was still a gulf between him and his brother.
Although they had not been expecting to receive an easy ride, the royal family were said to be stunned at the ferocity of the allegations hurled in their direction.
Prince William was the first senior royal to address directly the string of allegations made in the explosive Oprah interview, insisting they are ‘very much not a racist family’
There was significant internal debate as to whether to rebut many of them, but instead the Queen personally opted for a ‘compassionate but firm’ approach.
Days after the interview Prince William spoke to insist the royals were ‘very much not a racist family’, a move which was backed by the Queen and Prince Charles.
On Thursday he became the first senior Windsor to address directly the string of allegations made in the explosive Oprah interview.
This is not the first time the magazine has been criticised for its controversial cartoons.
Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamist fanatics in January 2015, after posting cartoons which were said to have insulted the Prophet Mohammed.
Twelve people were killed in the onslaught, including a number of cartoonists who were said to have continually mocked Islam.
The magazine is now published from a secret headquarters in Paris – one that is said to be under armed guard at all times.
Despite its reputation for ‘Je Suis Charlie’ free speech, Hebdo is frequently accused of racism and Islamophobia.
It denies the claims, saying that it is fully entitled to mock anybody it chooses.