Friday, June 28, 2013

Ataturk the Llama

Pearls Before Swine has several controversial strips. Among these strips were the Ataturk the Llama strips.
These strips were released on January 9 and 10, 2007. Ataturk is a llama and an UN diplomat. His form of "diplomacy" is to spit on other people. Rat claims Ataturk is from the "Llama Nation" (whom he is presumably the representative for) and that his tendency to spit on people is part of his country's culture.
So what was the problem?  Many Turkish-descended readers interpreted the strip as mocking former Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and were offended. This was made worse by the fact Greece and Turkey tend to be enemies and Stephen Pastis is of Greek descent. As such, the Turkish ambassador to the US demanded an apology from George Bush and Pastis got a lot of hate mail.
Pastis himself claimed he wasn't mocking Mustafa. He used the name because he liked how the name sounded. He has called this the biggest controversy in Pearls Before Swine's history.

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