• Reactions from mayoral candidates depicted on now-pulled cover

    By: Kody Leibowitz

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The cover depicted three candidates for mayor of Memphis as caricatures: former Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton, Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, and Mayor Jim Strickland. 

    Herenton pinned his comments on Saturday to the top of his Facebook page. 

    ORIGINAL STORY: 'It was racist' Memphis Magazine cover sparks controversy across the city

    “A real debate can only happen with an impartial moderator. However, the Memphis Media has proven time and again that they cannot be that,” wrote Herenton. “I will not compromise my dignity to curry favor with the monied elite.” 

    Herenton did not returned messages for an on-camera interview.

    Sawyer posted on Facebook and Twitter that she was ‘shocked, disappointed and disgusted’ by the cover and coverage. 

    “The caricature (reminiscent of Jim Crow-era cartoons historically used to demean and demoralize African Americans) printed in the Sept issue of Memphis Magazine is both insulting and hurtful and represents a false view of how I am seen by my community,” wrote Sawyer. “We will not stand for the continued willful misrepresentation of and attacks on my womanhood and candidacy.”

    Sawyer’s campaign said that the commissioner would not speak again on the cover. 

    Strickland’s social media has not mentioned the cover and his campaign has not returned calls for an interview.


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