The leaders of the Harvard Lampoon, a satirical publication run by undergraduate students at the Ivy League school, are apologizing after a cartoon featuring Anne Frank was criticized for crossing the line.
“We realize the extent of offense we have inflicted and understand that we must take responsibility for our actions,” co-presidents Nicholas Grundlingh and Jack Stovitz and issue editor Liana Spiro said in a statement Tuesday evening. “We as individuals and we as an organization would like to apologize for our negligence in allowing this piece to be created for and printed in our latest issue. We are sorry for any harm we have caused.”
The three students added that the “Lampoon condemns any and all forms of anti-Semitism.”
Harvard students and local Jewish leaders blasted the publication this week for the Photoshopped cartoon, which depicted the young Holocaust victim‘s face on a bikini-clad body, with the headline: “Gone Before Her Time: Virtual Aging Technology Shows Us What Anne Frank Would Have Looked Like if She Hadn’t Died.”
The Lampoon’s leader said the decision lacked “sufficient editorial oversight,” which will be restructured.
“Moving forward, we will approach the content of our magazine with greater care,” Grundlingh, Stovitz, and Spiro wrote.
Read the full statement below:
In the past few days, the Lampoon has heard from many whom we hurt with content from the latest issue of our magazine, specifically a Photoshopped image of Anne Frank. We realize the extent of offense we have inflicted and understand that we must take responsibility for our actions.
We as individuals and we as an organization would like to apologize for our negligence in allowing this piece to be created for and printed in our latest issue. We are sorry for any harm we have caused. Furthermore, we want to both affirm and emphasize that the Lampoon condemns any and all forms of anti-Semitism.
Moving forward, we will approach the content of our magazine with greater care. We realize that our publishing process lacks sufficient editorial oversight, so we are going to restructure our review process for issues to prevent the publication of content like this. In the coming weeks, based on conversations with the Office of Diversity Education & Support, our Graduate Board, advisors, and our peers, we are going to come up with a series of further steps to improve our publication and organization as a whole.
These steps will be published on our website in the summer. However, they will constitute part of an ongoing process of change. If you’d like to share any thoughts or concerns, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, we are sorry for publishing this piece and for the harm it has caused, and are grateful to those who have taken the time to communicate their feelings about it with us.
On behalf of the editors of The Harvard Lampoon,
Nicholas S. Grundlingh, Co-President
Jack G. Stovitz, Co-President
Liana A. Spiro, Issue Editor