Star Tribune CEO and publisher Steve Grove has apologized for the “pain” caused by a cartoon that made some readers feel “targeted and mischaracterized.”
Mike Thompson’s debut cartoon for the paper featured a man telling his wife: “Broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer at all hours will make Minneapolis too noisy.”
“What?” the man’s wife replies as the cartoon pans to a group of criminals firing guns.
From Star Tribune Opinion's new editorial cartoonist, Mike Thompson: It's a bit noisy in Minneapolis pic.twitter.com/MJ7cPrKJlG
— Star Tribune Opinion (@StribOpinion) April 23, 2023
The Minneapolis City Council recently approved changes to the city’s noise ordinance that will allow the Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast at any time of day.
Despite acknowledging that the cartoon was “intended to support the recent decision by the Minneapolis City Council,” Grove apologized because “the cartoon didn’t achieve its goal but instead brought pain to readers and communities who felt targeted and mischaracterized.”
“I’m sorry that the Star Tribune published it. We will work harder to do better as an organization to ensure we’re holding ourselves and our community accountable in constructive ways that speak to our values of respect and integrity,” Grove said in a statement.
His apology came as four Muslim Democrats issued a statement of their own condemning Thompson’s cartoon.
Grove took over at the Star Tribune at the beginning of the month after leaving his position as a commissioner in Gov. Tim Walz’s cabinet. This means the person who runs the state’s largest newspaper is a former partisan appointee of Minnesota’s sitting governor.
Grove is going on a listening tour to solicit “advice and feedback” from readers.