Jun. 11--Pepe The Frog's status as an alt-right symbol may be in danger.
Right-wing conspiracy theorist website InfoWars has agreed to settle a copyright infringement suit for $15,000 and a promise to never use the melancholy frog again, after Pepe's creator -- cartoonist Matt Furie -- took them to court.
Pepe, once a frog cartoon implicated in memes from Nicki Minaj to Wendy's, was co-opted by the alt-right in memes invoking the Klu Klux Klan and Nazis on websites such as 4chan. Pepe was declared a "hate symbol" by the Anti-Defamation League in 2016. Donald Trump Jr., notably, also deployed the frog on an Instagram post as "The Deplorables."
The lawsuit in question involves a promotional InfoWars poster, showing Pepe the Frog alongside InfoWars leader Alex Jones, President Donald Trump and other alt-right provocateurs such as Milo Yiannopolous, Diamond and Silk and Roger Stone.
It's part of a broader campaign by Furie to take Pepe back and divorce the frog from its association with the alt-right. That includes a zine of Pepe images that preach love.
Though InfoWars was forced to pay the profits it gained from the poster, the website alleges that the settlement "clearly represents a strategic victory for Alex Jones."
"They would have made more money if they went and waitressed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a few months," InfoWars attorney Robert Barnes said in a statement. "So, we made our point."
Thank you! You're almost signed up for
Keep an eye out for an email to confirm your newsletter registration.
Furie will donate $1,000 of the earnings to the conservation group Save the Frogs.
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote ___
(c)2019 USA Today
Visit USA Today at www.usatoday.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
KeyWords:: BC-INFOWARS-TO-PART-WITH-PEPE-THE-FROG-NOW-AN-ALT-RIGHT-HATE-SYMBOL-IN-15-000-SUIT:USA BC INFOWARS TO PART WITH PEPE THE FROG NOW AN ALT RIGHT HATE SYMBOL IN 15 000 SUIT USA