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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dayton Campus Paper's Gay Slur: Dumbledore Cartoon Draws Apology

DAYTON (TDB) -- The student newspaper says a "lack of judgment" led it to print a controversial editorial cartoon depicting the Harry Potter character Dumbledore with a wand in his mouth and a line saying "Deathly Swallows." The cartoon was meant to satirize author J.K. Rowling's revelation last month that Dumbledore was gay. An editorial published by the Flyer News apologized after the paper received sharp criticism.
"From our staff to the UD community, we would like to sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended. Our lack of judgment in this case is now obvious. We meant no disrespect and meant nor harm. At Flyer News we continually strive to be a publication that accepts and includes everyone. Furthermore, it is not our mission whatsoever to make anyone feel unwanted or unloved here on campus."
Some of the letters to the editor denouncing the cartoon are here and here and here.
Campus minister Emily Strand complained to the newspaper's faculty advisers and called the cartoon absolutely tasteless.
"I'm all for the First Amendment, but that's not the issue here; we could print the F-word all over a page and call it an article, but we don't for reasons that are obvious. It's not about whether we can print something, but whether we should if we with to be consistent with our Catholic and Marianist identity. (Not to even mention your cartoon was not even witty.)"


  1. Hi Bill,

    How or why is it that there is an uproar about this cartoon but almost nothing about the remarks in Marc Dann's following email exchange --

    • Dann, who is Jewish, e-mailed Jennings on April 6 about an editorial that ran in his hometown paper, The (Youngstown) Vindicator: “Bentley said there are six nasty posts after the Vindy editorial. All about you,” he wrote. “Jesus had it better on good friday.”

  2. Hi King --

    A good question. Perhaps more people complained at the University of Dayton. And the campus editors did agree with their critics and offered an apology. I do think Dann's remark was intemperate. I have always been taught that the suffering endured on Good Friday was horrendous. I would never joke about it. Indeed, when I was a boy my mom would make me sit in my room for three hours -- 12 until 3 pm -- on Good Friday. She believed the crucifixition should be contemplated and reflected upon as a spiritual event. Plenty of Catholics did that in the old days.