The creator of the Pepe the Frog cartoon, Matt Furie, has applied successful legal pressure to prevent the distribution of a children’s book that used the character in an alt-right context.
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Pepe the Frog became an icon in the alt-right movement last year after becoming a meme for his catch-phrase, “Feels good man”. The self published children’s book ‘The Adventures of Pepe & Pede’ by Eric Hauser sees Pepe team up with his best friend ‘Centipede’ (a term for Trump supporters), to “bring freedom back to Wishington Farm”.
Hauser admitted copyright infringement after being approached by Furie’s lawyers. Furie has asked Hauer to donate all profits from the book to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a figure Motherboard reports as $1,521.54.
In a press release, Furie’s legal team at Wilmer Hale stated, “Furie does not want money made by peddling hateful themes to children.”
Wilmer Hale denounced ‘Pepe & Pede’ for “espousing racist, Islamophobic and hate-filled themes, included allusions to the alt-right movement, and was deliberately targeted at children.”
They added, “Furie wants one thing to be clear: Pepe the Frog does not belong to the alt-right. As this action shows, Furie will aggressively enforce his intellectual property, using legal action if necessary, to end the misappropriation of Pepe the Frog in any way that espouses racism, white supremacy, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Nazism, or any other form of hate. He will make sure that no one profits by using Pepe in alt-right propaganda—and particularly not by targeting children.”
In May, it was announced that Furie had “killed off” his character after the image was adopted by the alt-right movement. However, a recent Kickstarter by Furie attempts to “save Pepe” by “reclaiming his status as a universal symbol for peace, love, and acceptance.”