The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is under heavy criticism in the UK. The occasion is a cartoon showing Queen Elizabeth kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck, an imprecise reference to the death of American George Floyd.
The cartoons in question grace the cover of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine. Titled “Why Did Megan Leave Buckingham”, the smiling Queen Elizabeth can be seen planting her knee on Meghan Markle’s neck, prompting her to “Because I can’t breathe.” A direct allusion to the last words of George Floyd, the man who died last year when a police officer put his knee on the neck of a black American for nine minutes during his arrest in Minneapolis. This issue directly led to the worldwide “Black Lives Matter” protests.
The cover was described across the channel as “absolutely shocking,” as if Charlie Hebdo was using Floyd’s death to sell more. “This is a mistake on all levels,” wrote Halima Begum, executive director of the Runnymede Trust, on Twitter. “It doesn’t challenge, it doesn’t make anyone laugh, or it makes you think of racism. It downplays those issues.”
“A weak and ill-minded answer from Charlie Hebdo makes things worse,” says the nonprofit Windrush Anchor. “This kind of simplistic satire has no place in the fight against racism. Really awful and sad.”
Shameful, disgusting, fascist racism Black and Asian lawyers for justice Cover again. “Charlie Hebdo is using George Floyd’s pain for profit.”