Artist apologizes for pornographic comic that shocked, angered community

Rappler.com
'Only stupidity could make me like this. Hopefully it does not happen to you. Hopefully, you all are enlightened'

JAKARTA, Indonesia – It was a comic strip so vulgar, that it shocked the close-knit comics community in Indonesia. 

Over the weekend, famous Indonesian artist Kharisma Jati posted an incestuous comic targeted towards another female artist allegedly after a conflict between the two. He tweeted the comic with the hashtags #incest, #sex, #milf, #amoral, #fuckyouidontcareaboutanythinganymore. 

The post was soon taken down but had already been seen by many colleagues and netizens, sparking outrage. (READ: Comics community condemns artist for incestuous drawing)

On Wednesday, November 3, Jati finally apologized in a Facebook post.

“I hereby declare my sincere apologies to [the female artist] and family, as well as to those who have been offended by my work, both the previous ones and the one that recently appeared. On account of which I am willing to bear all of the consequences of my actions,” he said.

“Hopefully after this statement everyone can understand each other others’ perspectives, understand what is right and wrong, as well as understand the causes and consequences of a decision. And I thank the friends who have supported me all this time, I hope that my work throughout the years have provided more benefits than downsides.”

He went on to admit that he has been “self-destructive, detrimental to family and friends, for what I do not know.”

“Only stupidity could make me like this. Hopefully it does not happen to you. Hopefully, you all are enlightened,” he added.

He also expressed remorse, saying “I hope you all can give me the chance to repair the damage that I have caused, by any means necessary.”

Jati is known for his comic strip “God You Must Be Joking,” which often features controversial comics about modern-day issues and for pushing the envelope. 

Harsh backlash

Soon after the comic was posted, other artists started a hashtag to express their support towards the victimized female artist. Artists condemned Jati for the lewd comic through Facebook posts, and through sketches and drawings.

Sunny Gho, founder of Indonesian comics portal www.kosmik.id, issued a statement on his Facebook account that slammed Jati and urged to stop the circulation of his work.

“Kharisma Jati, this time you are wrong,” Gho said. “For me, your work is brave and my usual response is laughter and ‘This is a crazy person!'”

“IT’S WRONG. I don’t know what she did to you and I don’t care to meddle between your personal dispute IT’S JUST PLAIN WRONG.”

He added, “K.Jati has reached the lowest point and no justification or apology is adequate. This is not a personal perversion anymore, this is not an opinion, this is a case of virtual rape.”

“With this statement, I urge and insist to stop the circulation of K.Jati’s work anywhere in any media whether online or offline. To my friends, that still are in his group and mailing list, I urge you to get out and stop giving him a platform or support K. Jati – and if you can, make it public.”

As of Monday evening however, Gho took down the statement – apparently at the request of the female artist.

“Dear all, the statement I posted about K. Jati has been taken down at the request of [the female artist]. The issue was settled privately by both sides. I wish them the best.”

“Hopefully in the future this does not happen again,” he said.

Other reactions

Other artists also expressed their disappointment.

Sweta Kartika, a leading Indonesian comic artist, said that Jati crossed the line.

“With this post, I declare that I no longer appreciate Jati’s work. Sorry sir, it turns out you are this rotten, attacking a woman this way,” he wrote. “A mother who loves both her children. This comic of yours is very, very cheap.”

Aji Prasetyo, another comic artist, drew a comic, wherein Jati’s “God You Must Be Joking” was being burned.

“Whatever the reason KJ did that (although the drawing has now been deleted), in my opinion it is completely inappropriate. Although both of these comic artists are my friends, if one them act unethically, I’m sorry if I have to show my response.”

Many of these posts have since been taken down, again upon the request of the female artist to prevent the comic from going viral.

The female artist on Monday afternoon finally broke her silence with a comic as a response, depicting a mother loving her children. She has since taken it down as well.

As of publication time, the artist has yet to respond to Jati’s apology. – with reports from Karina Maharani/Rappler.com