The creator of the Momo character that began appearing in children’s videos on YouTube to terrorise them, has told children they don’t need to fear the character any longer.
Japanese artist Keisuke Aiso said he felt ‘responsible’ after his work was hijacked and used by online predators to frighten children into doing things like leaving the oven on or even harming themselves.
Momo was originally created in 2016 to exhibit at an alternative art gallery in Tokyo, Japan. But the image was so disturbing it became viral around the globe, including being sold as a rubber mask in Mexico for the day of the dead celebration.
— The Sun (@TheSun) March 3, 2019
Most disturbingly though, the bird-like figure with giant eyes and accentuated mouth, was inserted into seemingly innocent children’s videos on YouTube like Peppa Pig.
In an honourable move, Keisuke has now spoken out to reassure children that the original Momo was now dead.
“It doesn’t exist anymore, it was never meant to last,” Keisuke is reported to have told The Sun.
“It was rotten and I threw it away.
“The children can be reassured Momo is dead – she doesn’t exist and the curse is gone.”
Unfortunately this does not mean that Momo won’t appear in a child’s video ever again, and it is important parents are vigilant about what their children are doing online.
YouTube’s ‘Channel Mum’ psychologist Emmy Kenny suggested parents should be talking to their children about it, proving to them it is made up.
Keisuke also spoke out about the viral spread of his design, saying he had “mixed feels” about the those who have been responsible for the world seeing his original ‘Momo’.
“I created this artwork three years ago and at the time when it was exhibited at the gallery it did not receive much attention, so at the time I was very disappointed,” he said.
“So when Momo first appeared, it was good in a way that it had received some attention. I was pleased.
“But the way that it has been used now is very unfortunate.
“People do not know if it is true or not but apparently the children have been affected and I do feel a little responsible for it.
“I feel like I am in trouble but it’s all out of my hands.
“It was never meant to be used to make children harm themselves or cause any physical harm.”