It was the crack heard around the world.
In the wake of a terrorist attack at two mosques during Friday prayer sessions in Christchurch, New Zealand, Australian Senator Fraser Anning received significant criticism for blaming Muslims for the attack perpetrated by a white supremacist.
"Whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing muslim presence..While Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators. World-wide, Muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale," Anning said in a letter penned after the attack.
Anning was criticized for suggesting that followers of Islam are inherently violent and teenager Will Connolly became the viral sensation known as "Egg Boy" when he decided to crack an egg on the back of Anning's head in protest during a press conference Anning was using to parrot similar rhetoric.
Give #eggboy a medal. https://t.co/JpxurU1OGp— Alexander Heller (@Alexander Heller) 1552772023.0
The hashtag #Eggboy began to trend around the world following Connolly's act, which appeared to divide the internet. Some saw it as a defiant act of protest. Others viewed it as little more than an attention seeking stunt.
Now Connolly has spoken out for the first time in an interview on Australian television.
Ever since he cracked the egg that divided the nation, Melbourne teenager Will Connolly, better known as #EggBoy, h… https://t.co/Oo6NjkGXYN— The Project (@The Project) 1553502144.0
Connolly says Anning's rhetoric didn't sit right with him:
"After that tragedy in Christchurch, I thought the world should be supporting all those victims, giving them love and passion. And the senator released a statement, which was pretty much a divisive hate speech blaming the victims for the attack. I was just flat-out disgusted."
He says he didn't anticipate that his act of protest would make him known around the world:
"I didn't think this was going to blow up. In fact, it's blown up completely out of proportion, to the point where it's kind of embarrassing because too much of the attention is brought away from the real victims suffering — we should be focusing on them.
I understand what I did was not the right thing to do, however this egg has united people and money had been raised — tens of thousands of dollars has been raised for those victims."
After Connolly––and the egg––went viral, his supporters created a GoFundMe campaign to cover his possible legal fees. The campaign raised more than $50,000, and Connolly decided to take every cent and donate it to the victims of the Christchurch attack.
Connolly also noted that his mother disapproved of the way he'd gone about his protest.
"There's no reason to physically attack anyone. She's glad I stood up for what I believe in; she definitely disagrees with the way I did it," he said.
Funnily enough, Connolly said, he's been known as "Egg Boy" for years: "Well, funnily enough, I was actually called 'Egg Boy' before this happened. I'd eat boiled eggs at lunch and all the girls would say, 'Get away from me, that reeks,'" he said. "I'm officially off the eggs now."
However he may personally feel about it, Connolly doesn't appear to have lost any fans around the globe.
So #Eggboy just told @theprojecttv his nickname was ALREADY Eggboy becayse he would eat boiled eggs at lunch and th… https://t.co/UFAb7IBfeQ— Freya Noble (@Freya Noble) 1553502104.0
Will ( A.k.a Eggboy) is an outstanding young Man ! @theprojecttv Keep on Keeping On Will... You’ve got the power to… https://t.co/ZhDh8JghIv— Damien Clarke (@Damien Clarke) 1553502138.0
@theprojecttv #EggBoy had good intentions and just seems like a normal kid trying to make sense of a crazy world— Advertising Guy (@Advertising Guy) 1553502225.0
@theprojecttv #eggboy Will gives me hope for the future. I love that his generation are passionate about standing u… https://t.co/RP2PslsnHg— Wendy Robinson (@Wendy Robinson) 1553502083.0
Well that’s certainly changed my mind about Wil #eggboyَ @theprojecttv Well said and nicely handled.— Tanya Wilks (@Tanya Wilks) 1553502133.0
@robiroso @theprojecttv The world's gone mad when people shoot others for their beliefs. He cracked an egg on a rac… https://t.co/TLHdP6R2E2— Alicia Papp (@Alicia Papp) 1553508681.0
He does have his detractors, as you can imagine.
@theprojecttv you guys are condoning violence against politicians if you don't agree what they say is that just for… https://t.co/f0niBnBAEx— Runfatboyrun (@Runfatboyrun) 1553501992.0
@theprojecttv Put aside Anning’s views, can’t comprehend how #eggboy is being glorified for this. Does that mean pe… https://t.co/CAx4SeACdn— Diego Torre (@Diego Torre) 1553502486.0
@robiroso @theprojecttv As long as it suits their point of view then its ok. If it was anyone else that was egged t… https://t.co/ARTSjyHoz5— George (@George) 1553503734.0
We're pretty sure Connolly's fine either way. He says he won't claim any of the other gifts he's been offered since he went viral and would like to keep attention on the victims and on viable solutions. That's the definition of a good lad.