'Egg Boy' to donate money raised for him to New Zealand mass shooting victims

On Tuesday (March 19) morning, a GoFundMe page for Will Connolly (right), now commonly known as Egg Boy, had already surpassed its goal of raising A$50,000 (S$47,981). PHOTO: TWITTER/@ABCNEWS

SYDNEY (NYTIMES) - Money raised for a teenager who shot to worldwide fame after smashing an egg on the head of an Australian far-right politician will go towards the victims of the New Zealand mosque shootings, according to his fundraising page.

On Tuesday (March 19) morning, a GoFundMe page for Will Connolly, now commonly known as Egg Boy, had already surpassed its goal of raising A$50,000 (S$47,981).

An update on the page said that Will, 17, "plans to send a majority of the money to the victims of the Christchurch terror attack".

The funds were originally intended to cover his legal fees and to help him buy "more eggs".

The teenager gained fame after smashing an egg on the head of Mr Fraser Anning, an anti-immigration senator, as the senator spoke to reporters in Melbourne, Australia, last Friday. The incident happened after Mr Anning was widely condemned for a statement he made that day blaming the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Muslim immigration.

After getting hit with the egg, Mr Anning turned around and struck Will in the face twice. A brawl broke out that ended with Will being pinned down by men in the crowd. Will was arrested at the scene and released pending further investigation, police said.

As video of the incident went viral, people around the world have rallied around "Egg Boy" as a hero and symbol in the fight against bigotry.

Will has been offered concert tickets for life and free vacations, and he has been portrayed in street art and on T-shirts.

But Mr Anning deplored his behaviour in remarks on Monday.

"He got a slap across the face, which is what his mother should have given him long ago because he's been misbehaving badly," Mr Anning told reporters in Brisbane.

The senator refused to apologise for his comments on the shooting, saying it was a "statement of fact". More than a million people have signed a petition calling for his resignation.

Political leaders, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and Mr Scott Morrison, her Australian counterpart, have condemned the senator's statement.

Will has not responded to requests for comment. According to screenshots from the GoFundMe page, he has said he is "under strict restrictions to limit his posts on social media".

While his Twitter account has been suspended, Will's initial response to the egg smashing was saved and circulated by other users.

"This was the moment I felt so proud to exist as a human being," he wrote.

"Let me inform all you guys, Muslims are not terrorists and terrorism has no religion. All those who consider Muslims a terrorist community have empty heads like Anning," he added.

"Don't egg politicians. You get tackled by 30 bogans at the same time. I learnt the hard way," he said, in a video recorded after the egg incident, using a derogatory but sometimes affectionate term for uncouth Australians.

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