Two journalists will leave Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine that was victim to a massacre of 12 of its staff members in January this year. French cartoonist Rénald Luzier, also known as "Luz," and writer Patrick Pelloux announced the timing of their departures this week, the Associated Press reports.
This week’s issue of the magazine included Luzier’s announcement of his resignation. His letter addressed concerns stemming from a cartoon in the publication’s previous edition, in which a dead Syrian boy from the migrant crisis was placed next to the Ronald McDonald clown. Luzier defended his company’s ethics by writing that the cartoon aimed to mock “our liberal and hypocritical society,” according to the AP.
Luzier, who designed the "Je Suis Charlie" cover image of Muhammad, had said in May that he would quit Charlie Hebdo in September. The job had become “too much to bear,” he told French newspaper Liberation, according to the BBC. “Each issue is torture because the others are gone,” Luzier said.
The magazine's editor, Laurent Sourisseau, who goes by the name "Riss," announced in July that Charlie Hebdo would no longer feature cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. “We have drawn Muhammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever they want,” Sourisseau told German magazine Stern in regard to the decision. Luzier said in April that he would not draw Muhammad because it “no longer interests me,” the BBC reported.
The other departing staff member, Pelloux, said that he planned to leave the magazine in January. “If I've decided to stop writing, it's because ... something has ended,” he told Web7Radio, a student radio station based in Paris, AP reports. "A part of us ended with these attacks."
The massacre brought Charlie Hebdo into the international spotlight, and sales reportedly rose dramatically. The first cover following the massacre was headlined, “All is forgiven," and featured a cartoon image of the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign that reads, "I am Charlie." The issue sold 8 million copies worldwide.