Miyazaki broke boycott of US to visit Comic Con

Miyazaki did not come to the 2003 Oscar ceremony, where he won the award for “Spirited Away”, because he was boycotting America to protest the Iraq War, according to LA Times. However, this year he broke his boycott to be in a panel at the San Diego Comic Con.

“The reason I wasnâ??t here for the Academy Award was because I didnâ??t want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq,” he said. “At the time, my producer shut me up and did not allow me to say that, but I donâ??t see him around today. By the way, my producer also shared in that feeling.”

13 thoughts on “Miyazaki broke boycott of US to visit Comic Con

  1. Perhaps Mr. Miyazaki didn’t notice that the Iraq War will continue at least as long as Obama remains in office. Someone should tell him.

  2. Are you being sarcastic, Ben? Miyazaki said he didn’t voice his reasons for boycotting the awards because his producer told him not to, and now, as Rall points out, we’re still in Iraq and Mr. Firm-on-his-convictions is in the US.

  3. This may sound crass, but I didn’t need to know this. I’m not too terribly concerned with Mr. Miyazaki’s political views, and was unaware that he was boycotting the US at all. I don’t see how the political motivations behind why he chose to not receive the Acadamy Award in person are of any interest to me as a cartoonist and illustrator, or the industry in general.

  4. @Eric Allie Yes, I was being sarcastic. I love Studio Ghibli and the amazing work done by Mr. Miyazaki, but why is he in America if he’s against the war and boycotted the Oscars because of it.

    I also found it hilarious that he only declared his reasons in the absence of his publicist – whose opinion on the war Miyazaki decided to declare publicly without approval.

    Although, in Miyazaki’s defence, Bush did declare the war over, so technically, he can end his American boycott, right?

    “Mission accomplished.”

    @Chad Welch It’s news cartoonists might be interested in because it involves one of the world’s premiere animation creators/directors.

  5. @Ben Rankel: Normally, Ben, I’d agree with you. This has nothing to do with Miyazaki’s body of work or his role as a premiere animation director, but his political motivations behind a decision made 6+ years ago. Nothing about his new movie, and the technical accomplishments that will make a good one, etc.

    I read the Daily Cartoonist for news related to the industry. We have enough drama in our choice of career and daily lives without fueling the fire with more political kindling. Mr. Miyazaki is a great director, I love his films. I don’t rightly care what he thinks of the the war, or the politics behind his decision, he can visit (or not) as he likes.

    Me? I would have much rather seen a story about how Miyazaki talked at length about his upcoming movie, the technical accomplishments therein, and the other aspects of the panel. Not this.

  6. @Chad Welch I can’t really decide what articles people do and do not find interesting. That said, I can defend its relevance. This is about a decision made not to accept an award for one of his greatest pieces of animated work, made at a convention monitored / attended by most of the worlds cartoonist.

  7. Alan was right to post this item about Miyazaki.

    Whether or not an artist should travel to a country has been an ethical dilemma and political issue on many occasions, whether it was musicians and Sun City, South Africa during apartheid or Jean-Paul Sartre’s decision not to accept the Nobel Prize because the award was endowed with the fruits of war.

    As one of the world’s most notable animators, it certainly is of interest to learn that Miyazaki boycotted the United States due to the invasion of Iraq. Of course, wags like me might ask why he didn’t feel similar concern over the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 or why he thinks it’s OK to come here now, but hey, that’s part of the discussion.

    In general, there aren’t enough discussions about political ethics in the cartooning community.

    In editorial cartooning, for example, I wonder about cartoonists who apply for the Pulitzer after having already won it. Surely they know that, by winning a second Pulitzer, they are taking away a prize that might have been used by an unemployed or soon to be unemployed artist to keep or obtain a job. Shouldn’t they demure? I would. But we can’t even have these conversations, so usual in other countries, because we are so ethically illiterate.

  8. Actually, Miyazaki only says he boycotted the bombing; not necessarily the war as a whole.

    Maybe he has less objection to the current operations…?

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