An anti-Trump cartoonist has declined an award for mocking the US President after he found out the contest was backed by an Iranian group known for organizing a Holocaust cartoon contest.
Clay Jones, a self-syndicated cartoonist in Virginia, is declining the award from Iran’s House of Cartoon group, claiming it would be anti-American and anti-free speech to accept it, The Washington Post reported.
The artist, who enrolled in the Trumpism Cartoon and Caricature Contest held by the controversial group several months ago, was awarded a citation on Monday. His winning drawing compared Time Magazine’s 2016 pick of Trump as the “person of the year” to Hitler, who was also named “man of the year” by the magazine back in 1938.
Virginia cartoonist declines award from Iran's Trump cartoon contest https://t.co/n1Zau0Wwpc
— Clay Jones (@claytoonz) July 6, 2017
“[House of Cartoon] may have good intentions, but I don’t want to be associated with them,” he said. “It can be perceived as not just an anti-Trump contest, but anti-American. I’m fine with criticizing America, or even our democratic allies criticizing America. But I don’t want to join our enemies in doing so.”
Jones claims he didn’t know that the Iranian group organizing the anti-Trump cartoon contest had also held a Holocaust cartoon contest or that it’s sponsored by the Iranian government.
“I have an issue with a contest sponsored by the government of Iran that’s critical of free speech in the United States when they don’t allow freedom of speech, or freedom for the press in their nation,” the cartoonist wrote on his personal blog.
“I have an issue with a contest that was a wolf whistle for anti-Semitism.
“Though the Trumpism contest wasn’t about any of that, it’s not a party I would accept an invitation to. If the Ku Klux Klan held a cartoon contest on economics, I wouldn’t want to enter, and I don’t want to be involved with a group that engages in anti-Semitism, no matter how their denial may be worded.”
He added: “It’s for that reason I have to decline the award, honor, citation, or whatever it is. Thank you very much, but no thanks. I do not want to be with any group that engages in hatred, no matter how much fun it is to mock Donald Trump. But it’s not about Donald Trump for me.”
Masuod Shojai Tabatabaei, the contest organizer, told the Associated Press that the aim of the constest was to “show wrong behaviors by Trump in the framework of satirical portraits.”