By JAMIE GRISWOLD
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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