“I realised a point had to be made and if no one was going to do anything, then I was.”
Rabat – The Australian teenager known as “Egg Boy” who gained international praise after he cracked an egg on a far-right politician’s head has broken his media silence.
The 17-year-old, whose real name is William Connolly, went viral after he smashed an egg on far-right Senator Fraser Anning’s head during a political meeting on March 16. Anning proceeded to punch the teen several times in the head before his entourage of supporters tackled the teenager to the ground and put him in a headlock.
The whole series of events was caught on camera and received 2 million views within just a few hours of being posted.
The egging incident came after Anning released a statement blaming Muslims and immigration for the March 15 terrorist attack on Christchurch’s Islamic community that left 50 people dead.
Instead of blaming the far-right terrorist who committed the attack, he said in his statement that “the real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
‘I understand this was not the right thing to do; however…’
Ever since he cracked the egg that divided the nation, Melbourne teenager Will Connolly, better known as #EggBoy, has been both vilified and dubbed the “hero of the Earth”.
— The Project (@theprojecttv) March 25, 2019
Despite going viral, Connolly remained mostly silent until this week. Speaking to Australian talk show “The Project” on Monday, March 25, Connolly acknowledged that even though cracking an egg over a senator’s head was not the right thing to do, the egging “united people.”
He said he initially attended the political meeting to see if Anning “could change my mind,” and only after an hour of listening to the senator speak did he make his decision. “I’m a pretty forgiving person and in my mind, I wanted to forgive him, but then he started saying some more things.”
When asked why he thought the senator deserved an egging, he answered: “After that tragedy in Christchurch, I thought the world should be supporting all those victims.”
He continued, “The Senator released a statement that was pretty much a divisive hate speech blaming the victims for the attack — and I was just flat-out disgusted.”
When asked if he was an activist of any kind, Connolly replied: “I don’t know much about politics at all, I’m not pro any specific religion, I’m just pro-humanity.” He added he is not a member of any political party or organization.
Some criticized his actions following the incident, saying there is no room for any kind of violence in political discourse and the act drew attention away from those affected by the Christchurch terror attack.
When asked whether there is ever a good reason to physically attack a politician, he said, “There’s no reason to physically attack anyone,” and he “can understand why some people reacted the way they did.”
Connolly elaborated, “I understand what I did was not the right thing to do; however, this egg has united people and money has been raised, tens of thousands of dollars has been raised for those victims.”
A GoFundMe was created for Connolly to help raise funds to cover any legal fees and buy “more eggs.” The fundraiser raised over AUD 80,000 (US $57,000) and Connolly received yet more admiration after he pledged to donate all funds to those affected by the Christchurch attack. Connolly was also offered a Ferrari, a holiday to Turkey, free tickets from famous bands, and a lifetime supply of beer among other gifts.
‘I never thought it would blow up’
The 17-year-old said the attention he has received since the incident was completely unexpected, and it has not been easy for him. “I didn’t think this was going to blow up, it’s blown up completely out of proportion.”
Connolly received applause worldwide for his especially proactive response to Anning’s Islamophobia. One Muslim teenager, while standing in front of a hospital in Christchurch, told Buzzfeed News, “Did you see that video of the Queensland senator being hit by an egg? That made my day.”
“It’s a bit embarrassing actually because too much attention is actually being brought away from the real victims suffering, we should be focusing on them. I was just going to show my mates, it was just going to be a few laughs,” Connolly recounted.
He said being called Egg Boy was actually starting to annoy him, and that funnily enough, he had been called Egg Boy at school even before the famous incident. “I’d eat boiled eggs at lunch and all the girls would be like ‘get away from me, that reeks,’” he said. “I’m off the eggs now, officially off the eggs.”
View this post on Instagram
To my family, friends and people around the world, I would like to thank everyone for all the overwhelming support. I’m so proud to stand for what is right and I encourage everyone to stand up for what you all believe in. I do not condone violence and I do not condone egging someone, and everyone has a right to an opinion, but as I listened to Senator Anning for over an hour, I realised a point had to be made and if no one was going to do anything, then I was. I’m so humbled to be able to shed more light in response to the Christchurch shootings. My heart goes out to all who are suffering. I’ve had one lady from Christchurch tell me that through this period of darkness in her life, it’s the first time she’s smiled since the shootings, which meant so much to me. The main focus here has to be the people who are suffering and the issue at hand, and I’m really happy it has united people the way it has. I will continue to try and make the world a better place and I hope the end of racism is on the horizon. Keep spreading the love ❤️. Will Connolly
Connolly also released a statement on Instagram following his talk show appearance, thanking people for their overwhelming support and encouraging others to “stand up for what you all believe in.”
He added that he does “not condone violence and I do not condone egging someone, and everyone has a right to an opinion, but as I listened to Senator Anning for over an hour, I realized a point had to be made and if no one was going to do anything, then I was.”
He reiterated that now should be a time to focus on the victims. “I’ve had one lady from Christchurch tell me that through this period of darkness in her life, it’s the first time she’s smiled since the shootings, which meant so much to me. The main focus here has to be the people who are suffering and the issue at hand, and I’m really happy it has united people the way it has.”
Did Senator Fraser Anning learn a lesson?
While many believed Anning’s reaction to punch the teen several times in the face was unjustified, Anning said it was simply self-defense.
“He got a slap across the face, which is what his mother should have given him long ago, because he’s been misbehaving badly,” Senator Anning said. “When someone cracks you on the back of the head you react and defend yourself. That for years is what Australians have been doing. Luckily they did that in the trenches and otherwise we’d all be speaking German now.”
Anning has only doubled down on his divisive statements since the attack, saying, “Countries that allow large-scale immigration invariably have an escalation in crime, violence and terrorist attacks. Now, as far as I’m concerned, that’s just a statement of fact.”
World leaders condemned Fraser Anning’s statement, with New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern simply describing the comments as a “disgrace.”
Scott Morrison said Anning’s words were “disgusting” and, “Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.”