The Times’ Corbett told the Examiner, “I don’t think these situations – the Milwaukee artwork and the various Muhammad caricatures – are really equivalent. For one thing, many people might disagree, but museum officials clearly consider this Johnson piece to be a significant artwork.”
“Also, there’s no indication that the primary intent of the portrait is to offend or blaspheme (the artist and the museum both say that it is not intended to offend people but to raise a social question about the fight against AIDS). And finally, the very different reactions bears this out,” he added. “Hundreds of thousands of people protested worldwide, for instance, after the Danish cartoons were published some years ago. While some people might genuinely dislike this Milwaukee work, there doesn’t seem to be any comparable level of outrage.”
In May, the Times’ editorial board published a scathing op-ed criticizing activist Pamela Geller for hosting an intentionally controversial “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas.