'Everbody Draw Mohammed' cartoonist: I'm against my own concept becoming a realityMay 18, 2010 @ 11:24 am (Updated: 2:21 pm - 3/28/11 )
The Seattle artist whose cartoon sparked the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" campaign says as the May 20th drawing deadline approaches, she's keeping her distance.
"I'm against my own concept becoming a reality," said cartoonist Molly Norris in an appearance on The Dave Ross Show.
"If I had wanted to be taken seriously, I would be thrilled, but now I'm horrified because people did take it as an actual day. The one-off cartoon is not good as a long term plan because it's offensive."
Norris drew up a sketch declaring May 20th "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" in response to Comedy Central's cutting of a portion of a South Park episode following a death threat from a radical Muslim group.
"As a cartoonist I just felt so much passion about what had happened I wanted to kind of counter Comedy Central's message they sent about feeling afraid," Norris said in an April appearance on the Dave Ross Show.
Norris' cartoon struck a chord with people, gaining national attention, but the artist says she was never that invested in the idea.
"I was pretty weak in my commitment and I realized I only wanted it to be a cartoon, so I never went through with it. I never set up a place to send drawings or anything."
When Norris didn't set up a collection point, another person set up a facebook page to collect drawing submissions. As the concept grew, Norris began trying to distance herself from the campaign posting this message on her website on April 25th:
I make cartoons about current, cultural events. I made a cartoon of a 'poster' entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" with a nonexistent group's name -- Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor -- drawn on the cartoon also. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any 'group'. I practice the first amendment by drawing what I wish. This particular cartoon of a 'poster' seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for. I am going back to the drawing table now!
Norris currently has a message posted on her website that apologizes to people of the Muslim faith and asks that the day be called off:
I meant for this to remain a fictional CARTOON, an artistic IDEA, never to catch fire as an actual 'event'.
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