“Mr. Ebola” Stickers Spark Confusion in the UK

Photo: Instagram/@embeldore

Mr. Men, the cute, rotund characters by Roger Hargreaves that express emotions from “greedy” to “sleepy” are most often associated with children’s books and silly t-shirts. But a street artist in the UK is attempting to use a similar character to spark a dialogue about the Ebola virus—specifically, the media frenzy surrounding it.

The Daily Star reports that hundreds of “Mr. Ebola” stickers have been plastered throughout Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, and elsewhere over the past two weeks. The stickers depict a blue character with a red nose, and are labeled overhead with large block letters that say “Mr. Ebola.” Below, “by the Media” is scrawled, implying that the media has fueled the panic surrounding the disease. The only signature provided is #thinkbeanie.

Photo: Instagram/@lollypt

Photo: Instagram/@lollypt

A quick perusal of the hashtag on Twitter reveals numerous pictures of the stickers, as well as apparent confusion about what they mean and who is responsible for them. Of course, some are speculating that Banksy is involved, but it doesn’t look like his style, and people are often too quick to point to Banksy as a possible source of street art. Not all street art is by Banksy. (But won’t I feel stupid if this turns out to be?)

According to Complex, some are taking the situation more seriously than just trying to guess who is behind the stickers. Nottingham Chief Community Protection Officer Andrew Errington stated that they are trying to find out who is damaging property and “putting pedestrians at risk” by posting the stickers over crosswalk signs. On January 12, he tweeted: “We will be coming for you #thinkbeanie.”

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