Hayao Miyazaki Calls Charlie Hebdo Cartoons a "Mistake"

Image for article titled Hayao Miyazaki Calls Charlie Hebdo Cartoons a "Mistake"

Last month, the Paris offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were attacked, leaving twelve dead. Recently, however, famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki said he believes the French paper's Muhammad cartoons were a "mistake."


In a TBS radio interview, Miyazaki discussed the shooting, which took the lives of several of France's most famous satirical cartoonists. Miyazaki is a co-founder of Studio Ghibli and responsible for iconic anime like My Neighbor Totoro.

"For me, I think it's a mistake to make caricatures of what different cultures worship," said Miyazaki when asked about the Hebdo attack [via Yahoo! News]. "It's a good idea to stop doing that."

That doesn't mean Miyazaki is against satire or criticism. For him, caricatures should be used in a different manner.

"First and foremost, [caricatures] should be made of your own country's politicians." According to 47News, Miyazaki added, "It's just looks suspect to go after political leaders from other countries."

It's worth noting that Charlie Hebdo has also lampooned Catholicism, by far the largest religion in France, as well as numerous French politicians.


Nikkan Sports reports that elsewhere in the radio interview, Miyazaki expressed his concern over Japan's current prime minister and discussed the country's position in the world.

Top photo: 映画「夢と狂気の王国」

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The people of Charlie Hebdo definitely didn't deserve what happened, but this isn't an issue of free speech, its an issue of actions have consequences. Far too often people will talk out of line, say something or do something that reflects poorly on them, and then they try to use "free speech" as a Get Out of Trouble Free card. The idea behind "Freedom of Speech" is that governments shouldn't have the right to punish those who speak their mind. In North Korea if you express doubt in the government they can lock you and your entire family in a concentration camp for three generations. Freedom of Speech is supposed to protect us from stuff like that, its not supposed to save you when you say "nigger" in a mixed crowd and three black dudes take you outside and show your face how they feel about that word.

The issue with Charlie Hebdo should've focused on Freedom from Violence rather than Freedom of Speech. Charlie Hebdo, by all accounts, is a disgusting, vile, racist, trashy publication from a country that's known for Xenophobia and Islamophobia. The "Freedom of Speech" cries protected this rag from any and all criticism, and now if you speak out against Charlie Hebdo people suddenly think you're an Al Qaeda supporter and that you believed they deserved what they got. Had we discussed Freedom from Violence we could've made the issue about how Al Qaeda and other like-minded groups use stuff like Charlie Hebdo as scapegoats for carrying out terrorist attacks. They didn't do it to stop Charlie Hebdo, they did it to scare the rest of the world.