Otago Daily Times cartoonist Garrick Tremain under review

Otago Daily Times cartoonist Garrick Tremain under review
Photo credit: Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times (ODT) is putting controversial cartoonist Garrick Tremain under review and will not publish his work until further notice.

On Tuesday, ODT published one of Tremain's cartoons which mocked the Samoan measles epidemic.

The cartoon received immense backlash, with people saying Tremain should lose his job.

Editor Barry Stewart made the announcement to a gathering of around 40 people outside the ODT's office on Wednesday afternoon.

He said the review into Tremain's future at the paper will be swift.

The cartoon showed two women leaving a travel agency with the caption: I asked "What are the least popular spots at the moment? She said "The ones people are picking up in Samoa" [sic]. 

On Wednesday morning, Tremain admitted the picture should not have been published.

"The cartoon should not have been put forward for publication and I acknowledge the lack of judgement on my part."

Earlier the same morning, Tremain told RNZ he would not apologise, calling the cartoon a "simple light-hearted joke".

"In this politically correct atmosphere that we're being suffocated by you have to be aware that there is a growing number of people who wake up in the morning and their first intention is to find something to be offended about."

The Samoan measles epidemic has killed 60 people so far. Of that, 53 of the dead are aged 4 and under. 

The Samoan government will shut down on Thursday so all government officials can help with a mass vaccination campaign to try and curb the outbreak.  



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