Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie is taking steps to reclaim his creation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Furie — who created Pepe as a “peaceful frog-dude” — has filed a copyright lawsuit against InfoWars in California federal court.
Before becoming a wide-spread meme, Pepe the Frog was originally envisioned as a laid-back amphibian that says, “Feels good, man.” However, as the complaint states, “beginning in 2015, various fringe groups connected with the alt-right attempted to co-opt Pepe by mixing images of Pepe with images of hate, including white supremacist language and symbols, Nazi symbols, and other offensive imagery.”
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Furie’s previous efforts to extricate Pepe the Frog from the alt-right and other extremist groups have included working with the Anti-Defamation League on a #SavePepe campaign, but these efforts have not yielded success.
The lawsuit specifically cites a poster that pictures Pepe in the company of President Donald Trump, InfoWars founder Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Roger Stone, Matt Drudge and Milo Yiannopoulous (among others) and the text “MAGA,” which refers to Trump’s presidential campaign slogan. Furie claims that InfoWars is selling this poster in its online store, though he did not authorize such use of the character.
The complaint can be read here in its entirety.