(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) – In more fallout around the decision by Comedy Central to censor an episode of “South Park” that contained comedic depictions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a cartoonist has now censored herself .
Seattle artist Molly Norris originally posted on her website a cartoon showing many different objects – including a purse, a domino, a coffee cup and a spool of thread – claiming to be a likeness of Muhammad.
Norris said that May 20 would be the first annual “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” and created a fictional group, Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor, to sponsor the event. She dedicated the illustration to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of “South Park.”
She sent the illustration to some bloggers and talked to a local radio host, saying “it’s a cartoonist’s job to be non-PC.”
Now Norris has backed off from that position. She no longer has the illustration on her website and she claims responses to the idea were overwhelming. Instead she has a drawing of herself, with various word balloons containing her feelings about the incident, including “I said that I wanted to counter fear and then I got afraid.”
Too late: the paints and brushes await:
But she may have started something she can’t stop. Others have taken up the cause of “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day.”
Reason.com’s blogger Michael C. Moynihan says he will be contributing artwork and will post fans’ work on his site as well. The fictional group Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor now has its own site that already contains some irreverent illustrations of Muhammad.
A Facebook page devoted to “Draw Muhammad Day” has followed Norris’s lead and backed away from the idea, but fans on the site are still arguing about it.
A rival Facebook page, Ban Draw Muhammad Day , also contains ongoing arguments on both sides of the issue.
On Sunday night’s episode of “The Simpsons”, the “South Park” issue was mentioned in the opening credits when Bart writes on the chalkboard in school. The chalkboard scrawl reads: “South Park – We’d stand beside you if we weren’t so scared.”
In the words of Homer himself: “[You] found my one weakness: that I’m weak! “