‘Racists and anti-Semites are using a once peaceful frog-dude from my comic book as an icon of hate’
It’s not easy being green. Especially when you’re officially designated as a hate symbol.
That’s the plight of Pepe the Frog, a once innocuous cartoon character that took on a life of its own as a go-to meme generator for internet trolls. But now creator Matt Furie says he wants to reclaim Pepe from the alt-right minions that turned his simple character into something dark and tweeted.
The controversy surrounding Pepe culminated in the Anti-Defamation League declaring the once benign amphibian as a symbol of hate. “Though Pepe memes have many defenders, the use of racist and bigoted versions of Pepe memes seems to be increasing, not decreasing,” the ADL writes on its site.
“Before he got wrapped up in politics, Pepe was an inside-joke and a symbol for feeling sad or feeling good and many things in between,” Furie writes in a Time op-ed piece.
He describes the character as a “blissfully stoned frog” who was originally meant as a simple gag when it debuted in his comic Boy’s Club in 2006.
As Pepe took on a life of his own, things seemed innocent enough. In fact, Furie said he loved getting Pepe fan art in the mail. And when someone created the first Trump Pepe meme, he wasn’t thrown off, although he wondered what the real estate mogul was thinking when he re-tweeted an image of the meme.
Thankfully for Furie, and Pepe fans everywhere, it seems as if things are starting to come full circle. In fact, he’s even teaming up with the ADL to help “re-claim” Pepe from those who have warped his image into one of hate.
If you want to help #SavePepe you can use that hashtag created by Furie and the ADL.
"It’s completely insane that Pepe has been labeled a symbol of hate, and that racists and anti-Semites are using a once peaceful frog-dude from my comic book as an icon of hate," Furie writes in Time."It’s a nightmare, and the only thing I can do is see this as an opportunity to speak out against hate."