The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung has been accused of anti-semitism after it published a cartoon featuring Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as an octopus monster with a gigantic nose.
There is a long history of anti-Jewish propaganda portraying the Jewish community as an octopus.
The cartoonist, however, has said his intent was to make Zuckerberg look like Davy Jones, the octopus-faced pirate played by Bill Nighy in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Artist Burkhard Mohr told the Jerusalem Post:
“Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies which are totally foreign to me.”
Mohr said he was “shocked” that his cartoon appears in this light.
He said that those who know him and his drawings know that “it is the last thing I would do, to defame people because of their nationality, religious view or origin.”
Mohr flatly rejected that his cartoon could be viewed as “anti-Jewish agitation.” He said his cartoon shows the WhatsApp purchase from Facebook and “is a combination of an octopus from the film the Pirates of Caribbean.”
He added, “I am sorry that it led to this misunderstanding and hurt the feelings of some readers.”
Here’s the Bill Nighy character: