Scarfe promises UK public apology over HMD cartoon

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2013

Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe has been reprimanded across the board for his drawing attacking Benjamin Netanyahu in last week's Sunday Times, including by the paper's acting editor Martin Ivens and its proprietor Rupert Murdoch.

But Mr Scarfe, who was on a cruise in the Pacific Ocean when the controversy broke out over the cartoon's appearance in the Holocaust Memorial Day edition, has also faced the wrath of an aggrieved reader at sea – and has now pledged to publicly offer his remorse when he is back on dry land. The cartoonist explained this week that he was unaware of the unfortuante timing.

Gerald Stecker, a bridge director on cruise ships, happened to be on board Mr Scarfe's round-the-world liner.

When Mr Stecker discovered the "malicious cartoon" he decided to ring Mr Scarfe's cabin.

"I told him how disgusted I was and [asked] can he give reasons for producing it," Mr Stecker said in an email. "He was dumbstruck and apologised to me."

Mr Stecker also confronted the veteran cartoonist in person. "I asked if he would give a public apology upon his return to the UK," he said. "He agreed."

Last updated: 12:51pm, January 31 2013