Anyone keeping up with the various Occupy protests going on around the world might have noticed a familiar visage making recurring appearances: the Guy Fawkes mask popularized with Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta.”
The mask was originally released as a merchandise tie-in to the 2006 adaptation of Moore’s novel, but has since started appearing in protests held by groups like Occupy and Anonymous. Even the reclusive Moore has seen the signs of his creation being worn in the anti-corporate protests. The Guardian caught up with the elusive author on the phone recently, and he admitted that he is pretty pleased to see his work continuing to have an influence.
“I suppose when I was writing ’V for Vendetta’ I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact?” he said. “So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar. It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction.”
Moore immediately separated himself from the protestors — “I have no particular connection or claim to what [the protesters] are doing” — but he still gets the correlation they feel to what the mask represents. The Occupy protestors’ slogan has become “We are the 99%,” and Moore said the mask helps them to become “almost a single organism,” which in and of itself is formidable.
That being said, it’s a bit ironic that anti-corporate protestors have become so taken with a mask whose rights are owned by Time Warner. That means every mask sold sends a tiny trickle of profit back to the movie studio.
“I find it comical, watching Time Warner try to walk this precarious tightrope,” Moore said. “It’s a bit embarrassing to be a corporation that seems to be profiting from an anti-corporate protest. It’s not really anything that they want to be associated with. And yet they really don’t like turning down money — it goes against all of their instincts. I find it more funny than irksome.”
Do you think that the use of Guy Fawkes masks in these protests is appropriate? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!