I am emailing you regarding the “etc.” comic that appeared in the Arizona Daily Wildcat this Tuesday. This comic depicts violent homophobia and child abuse, with a parent threatening his child that, if the child is gay, he will be shot with a shotgun, rolled up in a carpet and thrown off a bridge. The parent and child then laugh at the image of a gay individual murdered and disposed of in such a way, remarking “I guess that’s what you call a ‘Fruit Roll Up!’”
So, not only is this comic violently homophobic and abusive to children, it seeks to make a joke of that violence in the most despicable way.
As you can imagine, this comic is inflammatory and beyond the limits of both humor and what should be published in this university’s newspaper. I ask that you print an apology, inform the author of this comic of his error and examine your editing policies so that such violent hatred is not printed again.
To make sure that this grievance reaches the proper channels, I am also CC’ing this email to the Dean of Students, the campus LGBTQ club and several members of the faculty.
I sincerely hope that you will do the right thing and that my faith in the open atmosphere of the University of Arizona is not misplaced.
— Nathan Smith,
My name is D.C. Parsons, and I would like to formally apologize to anyone who I may have offended in my comic “etc.” on Tuesday. The comic was not intended to offend. The desired end means of my work is solely humorous.
It was based on an experience from my childhood. My father is a devout conservative from a previous generation, and I believe he was simply distraught from the fact that I had learned (from “The Simpsons”) what homosexuality was at such a young age.
I have always used humor as a coping mechanism, much like society does when addressing social taboos. I do not condone these things; I simply don’t ignore them. I do sincerely apologize and sympathize with anyone who may be offended by my comics (I am often similarly offended by “Ralph and Chuck”), but keep in mind it is only a joke, and what’s worse than a joke is a society that selectively ignores its problems.
— D.C. Parsons,
“etc.” cartoonist for the Daily Wildcat