Truslene mot South Park og det som fulgte var et forsøk på å le ut meningsterroristene, men latteren ble sittende fast i halsen. Også satirikerne fikk kalde føtter og backet ut.
I South Park-episoden om religionsstiftere sniffer Buddha kokain og Jesus ser porno. Men en trussel fra en obskur gruppe var nok til å skremme vannet av Comedy Central.
Det var ikke programskaperne som sensurerte episode 201, og erstattet ordet Muhammed med et «pip», det var Comedy Central.
Sensuren fikk flere på nett til å bli opprørt, og noen tok initiativet til «tegn Muhammed-dagen». Dette forslaget fikk overveldende respons, og initiativtakerne fikk kalde føtter. De forsto at dette kunne bli «big» og at de ville miste kontrollen. Derfor trakk de seg fra prosjektet. En heller tam og trist avslutning på noe som skulle være protest mot meningssensur.
Hendelsen sier noe om nettets enorme muligheter for å mobilisere til spontane aksjoner, men det er tydelig at folk er redd for å stå frem. Når saken gjelder ytringsfrihet blir det paradoksalt og ikke så lite schizofrent.
The outcry from Comedy Central’s decision to censor an episode of South Park with depictions of Muhammad last week led a cartoonist and a Facebook user to fight back. That is until they realized it might be controversial, apparently.
In declaring May 20th to be «Everybody Draw Muhammad Day,» Seattle artist Molly Norris created a poster-like cartoon showing many objects — from a cup of coffee to a box of pasta to a tomato — all claiming to be the likeness of Muhammad.
Such depictions are radioactive as many Muslims believe that Islamic teachings forbid showing images of Muhammad.
«I am Mohammed and I taste good,» says the pasta box in the cartoon. On top of the cartoon images (but no longer on her website) was an announcement explaining the rationale behind the event.
«In light of the recent veiled (ha!) threats aimed at the creators of the….
…television show South Park (for depicting Mohammed in a bear suit) by bloggers on Revolution Muslim’s website, we hereby deemed May 20, 2010 as the first annual «Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,» the original artwork reads.
On Friday, Norris told a radio talk show host in Seattle that she came up with the idea because «as a cartoonist, I just felt so much passion about what had happened…» noting that «it’s a cartoonist’s job to be non-PC.»
That passion, it appears, has lessened. And fast.
Her stark website today reads: «»I am NOT involved in «Everybody Draw Mohammd [sic] Day!»
«I made a cartoon that went viral and I am not going with it. Many other folks have used my cartoon to start sites, etc. Please go to them as I am a private person who draws stuff,» she writes.
It went viral, however, because she was the one who passed it around. Sending it to people like Dan Savage, a popular Seattle-based blogger and nationally syndicated sex advice columnist.
Once it became a national story she reeled back, asking Savage — in an email he provided to The Ticket — if he would «be kind enough to switch out my poster» with another one — a much tamer version which has no images attributed to Muhammad.
«I am sort of freaked out about my name/image being all over the place,» her e-mail reads.
He didn’t change it, nor did he post the tamer version. Besides, after Savage posted it, many other sites picked it up including The Atlantic and Reason.
When asked about her change of heart, Norris told The Ticket that she didn’t intend for the cartoon «to go viral.»
Then why did she send the cartoon to the media in the first place? «Because I’m an idiot,» Norris replied.
«This particular cartoon of a ‘poster’ seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for,» she said.
She doesn’t appear to be alone. The creator of a Facebook page dedicated to the day has bowed out as well. Jon Wellington told the Washington Post (before abandoning ship) that he created the page because he «loved [Norris’s] creative approach to the whole thing — whimsical and nonjudgmental.»