Bill Leak addresses ‘flippant’ racism case against him

The woman who lodged an official complaint against cartoonist Bill Leak over his controversial drawing depicting an Aboriginal father and
Bill Leak has resolved the complaint over his cartoon.

The woman who lodged an official complaint against cartoonist Bill Leak over his controversial drawing depicting an Aboriginal father and son has dropped the case because she didn’t think Leak was going to cooperate with the conciliation process.

Leak’s cartoon caused outrage and debate around the country after it was published online and in an issue of The Australian newspaper.

The drawing shows a police officer returning a young boy to his Indigenous father, who doesn’t seem to know his child’s name.

Melissa Dinniso, a 25-year-old Indigenous woman, lodged a complaint under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act against Leak but has now dropped it because she didn’t think he was willing to cooperate.

The cartoon that started it all.
The cartoon that started it all.

While she says the cartoon caused great distress to many Indigenous people, Leak says the complaint against him has caused him an immense amount of stress and hurt.

“So I began to feel that I was being used to push an agenda and I felt that The Australian wanted to coax me into taking this to court because they were confident that they would win,” Ms Dinniso said.

“And that a second win against 18C would help to push their agenda, and I guess watering down the Australian Human Rights Commission or even dismantling it completely.”

Ms Dinnison as insisted she never wanted compensation, but requested she be able to talk to Leak to tell him how cartoons like that affected Aboriginal people.

“It didn’t seem fair to me that somebody with that much power and that much sway over public opinion could publish such derogatory and hurtful things like this, and then decide that they didn’t want to hear from anybody who had an opposing opinion,” she said.

“Cartoons like this make me feel like it doesn’t matter what I do or how hard I try, it’s never going to be good enough and people will always be able to reduce me and my people and my family to such horrible degrading cartoons.”

Meanwhile, Leak says the whole case has thrown his life into chaos and that he doesn’t believe she should be able to get away with dropping the case without consequences.

“This woman, I believe, has very flippantly and recklessly lodged a complaint with the ARHC,” he said.

“It shows what a farcical process this is.

“I’ve got News Corp backing me legally. But if I was a private citizen, this would have cost me an absolute fortune.

“She has put me through a month or so of incredible stress.

“She never met me, she doesn’t have to justify anything she does, no one asked her any questions and it doesn’t cost her a cent.

“As a consequence my life has been thrown into utter chaos. ”

The case has sparked widespread debate across the country, with some arguing the cartoon was satirical and that people should accept it as a joke. Others though believe it is incredibly offensive and that both Leak and The Australian should face consequences.

What do you think? Was the cartoon offensive, or just a joke?

  1. Rob Trembath  

    No I don’ think that it was racist I know some people that don’t even know the names of their wives let alone children.
    D i have a case of Discrimination when i have been called a dirty white son of a slut by these people. We are going to xxxx your wife if you don’t give us some cigarette’s and wine. Walk down some streets in Cairns and as a white person see how many times you are racially abused by Inebriated Indigenous people. Enough is a enough time all of this stopped and some sanity returned to the world .

    • Susan Hullock  

      Not only in Cairns.

      • lurch  

        same along that river separating NSW and VIC

  2. Alan Evans  

    How can telling the truth be racist? The cartoon simply pointed out that there are children, women, even men at risk in Aboriginal communities because the powers that be bend over to the elitist left do-gooders and politically correct brigade. Hasn’t it been shown with Brexit, Trump and One Nation – the silent majority are sick and tired of being dictated to by ne’er do wells who have only their own selfish agendas to mind. Bill Leak should pursue this woman for the pain she has caused him.

  3. Moyra B  

    Many parents neglect their children. What makes this cartoon so racist is the fact that it targets Aboriginal people for something that is a problem in all kinds of communities across Australia. If you’re going to use your position to attack a particular racial group, you should expect protest.

  4. Bruce  

    There is a whole generation of taxpayer funded university graduates and bureaucrats desperately looking for a raison d’etre to try and justify their salaries so they search high and low for anything to give them a headline and hopefully an expensive and drawn out court case to make themselves look indispensable.

  5. I think the cartoon is racist, even if that was not Bill Leak’s intention, simply because it implies that aboriginal fathers are less likely to know their children than white fathers or that they take less responsibility for their children. That it may or may not be true is not the point. That it may be the case in some circumstances in some aboriginal communities but it is equally the case in sections of the white community as well. The major problem is the poverty and lack of resources to address and help people in this situation so that the next generation of children doesn’t start off in a situation where what Bill Leak depicted might be true.

  6. Steve H  

    The cartoon should be seen as a satirical joke, given it was drawn IN CONTEXT with the events at the time. Admittedly, there are fathers of many races and cultures who could also be targeted, however, the issue at the time was, unfortunately based on aboriginal issues. It is pleasing to not the Police member in the cartoon is also aboriginal, so there is no indication of white supremacy. Methinks this is a case of reverse racism by an increasingly disturbing trend to jump on the racist/sexist/multicultural bandwagon.

  7. Michael cole  

    About time18c was disbanded and Gillian Trigg shown the door

  8. Kevin Sparrow  

    It just wasn’t funny, the first requirement for a cartoon!

  9. Duncan  

    One can’t even say ‘boo to a goose’ in this Country anymore, without some idiot taking offence.
    I’m fed-up with the fact we just can’t seem to be ‘ourselves’ anymore.

    The cartoon was truthful.
    Indigenous are still on the ‘grog, ciggies’, & drugs roundabout’, with DV thrown in for good measure.
    They don’t want to help themselves’, they don’t want to work, but expect the ‘whitey’ to provide EVERYTHING for them!
    Millions $$$$ from Centrelink, just given to them. They treat white Aussies’ as bottomless money pits!

    I’ve seen drunken aboriginal women literally lolling around in a park in Kununurra, at midday, with numerous empty sherry flagons’ near them.
    I’ve seen the pile of empty beer cans’ at Fitzroy Crossing, with drunken aboriginal youths’ happily adding to it.

    I seen abandoned 4WD vehicles’ in the Tanami Desert, given to indigenous from Yuendamu Reserve, who drive them until they run out of fuel, or oil, & jet leave them there. The Govt just gives them new ones’, supplied by the white Taxpayers’ of this Country.

    I’ve seen a house burnt down at Daly Waters, where the indigenous occupiers’ ripped the front fence palings from the ground, & used them for a ‘campfire’ in the middle of the Lounge Room floor!

    In Normanton, it takes an aboriginal FOUR MONTHS’ to get a free house.
    For a white person, it takes EIGHT YEARS’ to obtain a Rental House.

    It’s called ‘reverse racism’, & it’s getting worse!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *