While the tragic terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo may be a month behind us, that doesn’t mean that a lot of people aren’t still talking about it. Most recently, one of those people is (quite surprisingly, given his reclusive reputation) famed animator and all around wonderful human being Hayao Miyazaki.
Now if you don’t already know who this guy is, you are a deprived human being. Go watch Spirited Away, seriously. The guy is responsible for some of the most beautiful, creative, and thought-provoking animated films of our age. He also has some great stuff to say about the state of animation in his home country of Japan.
But anyway, Charlie Hebdo. In case you’ve been living under a rock, a quick summary: the aforementioned French satirical paper often featured crude, insulting cartoons mocking various religions, and recently contained a few choice ‘toons about the prophet Muhammad, which then sparked a brutal terrorist attack in which 12 of its staff were killed. Since then, sales of the periodical have skyrocketed, and many have marched in support of Charlie Hebdo under the banner of “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”). All in all, the victims have been seen as martyrs for “free speech.”
And what does Miyazaki have to say about all of this? Well, basically, that the Charlie Hebdo comics were a “mistake.”
Clearly, this will not sit well with many. But hey, let’s let the man explain.
“For me, I think it’s a mistake to make caricatures of what different cultures worship […] It’s a good idea to stop doing that.”
[via Kotaku‘s translation from Yahoo! News].”
So basically… He wants people to be respectful of the dearly held beliefs of others.