New York Post, John Legend

New York Post, Amy Sussman/Getty Images for IMG

Get Lifted singer John Legend has gotten bent over the New York Post and its controversial chimp comic.

In a letter to the editor, the R&B star rips the newspaper for publishing the editorial cartoon by Sean Delonas, which depicts two white cops having just shot to death a simian—a nod to the headline-grabbing chimpanzee attack in Connecticut. But in the caption, one officer quips to the other, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

The Post has defended its panel by saying, "sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon" and calling critics who claim otherwise "opportunists." But Legend isn't buying the explanation.

"Did it occur to you that this suggestion would imply a connection between President Barack Obama and the deranged chimpanzee? Did it occur to you that our President has been receiving death threats since early in his candidacy?" writes the 30-year-old singer. "Did it occur to you that blacks have historically been compared to various apes as a away of insult and mockery? Did you intend to invoke these painful themes when you printed the cartoon?"

Legend said even if the editors didn't intentionally set out to spark outrage, they were "stupid and willfully ignorant...not to connect these easily connectable dots."

He also takes issue with the Post's statement yesterday in response to the controversy, which has been spearheaded by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

"It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill. Period," read a Post editorial. "But it has been taken as something else—as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize."

The right-leaning, Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid then lashed out at its critics, including a snipe at Sharpton.

"However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with the Post in the past—and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback. To them, no apology is due," the editorial continued. "Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon—even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."

Legend says that while he believes in free speech, he feels the Post should suffer "some consequences." He declares he's personally boycotting the paper and refusing to grant interviews to any of its reporters. He also called on colleagues in the entertainment business and advertisers to follow suit.

"You should print an apology in your paper acknowledging that this cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed," he writes. "Please feel free to criticize and honestly evaluate our new President, but do so without the incendiary images and rhetoric."

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