A political cartoon from the Indianapolis Star of Christine Blasey Ford has caused an uproar on social media.
Ford, who has accused Donald Trump's Supreme Court Judge nominee of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in 1982, is due to give her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
In the cartoon, Ford is seen sitting in front of the committee and demands that she is supplied with roses, sparkling water, green M&M's, no questions from lawyers and dim lights.
The image by artist Gary Varvel was reportedly printed on Sunday has prompted people to share it on Twitter and ask the paper why it was published in the first place and why they were making light of a sexual assault allegation.
Others pointed out Varel's cartoons are now too offensive, with some adding that the message they convey has prompted them to cancel their subscription to the paper and demand an apology.
@indystar Today's editorial "cartoon" was beyond disgusting and constitutes hate speech. Varvel should issue a full… https://t.co/L8hXCaJ7dq
In response to the criticism of the cartoon, Indy Star editor Ronnie Ramos posted an apology in his column which was published on Monday.
In the editorial, he states that their readers "deserved better" and that the cartoon "did not meet our high standards."
Our editorial pages, which include columns and cartoons, strive to present diverse opinions across the political spectrum.
In Sunday’s paper, for example, Varvel’s work ran next to another syndicated cartoon that presented an opposing view.
But the Indy Star also has a responsibility to promote a civil discourse and to present diverse viewpoints in a way that does not demean or appear to belittle anyone who says they are the victim of a sexual assault.
Our readers deserved better in this case.
The cartoon did not meet our high standards. Our – and Varvel’s – intent was not to attack Dr. Ford.
My cartoon was focused only on Ford's demands, not on whether she was telling the truth.
This is a point I should have made clearer in my cartoon.
As a husband and father of a daughter and granddaughters, I take sexual harassment very seriously.