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Cartoon investigated for 'racial hatred'

AAP logoAAP 15/10/2016

The Human Rights Commission is investigating a controversial cartoon by Bill Leak following allegations of racial hatred, The Australian newspaper has reported.

In a cartoon about indigenous parental neglect, Mr Leak depicts a police officer telling an Aboriginal man holding a beer can to talk to his son about personal responsibility, to which he replies "Yeah righto. What's his name then?"

It was the subject of widespread criticism after it was published in The Australian on August 4.

The newspaper says its lawyers have been notified by Jodie Ball, the commission president's delegate, that allegations of racial hatred under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act will be investigated following a complaint.

Section 18C of the act makes it unlawful for a person to do an act that is reasonably likely to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people" because of their "race, colour or national or ethnic origin".

The Australian said a complaint states the newspaper "published and endorsed a cartoon depicting racial discrimination, racial profiling and racially offensive material".

"A series of cartoons illustrate hateful and derogatory material specifically relating to indigenous Australians, their relationships with their children, alcoholism and domestic violence," the complaint said.

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