Pepe the Frog, a peaceful meme, has croaked due to the ties to racism and prejudice. Pepe was originally just a cartoon strip. Pepe soon became one of the most famous frogs on the internet.
Pepe the Frog was an internet sensation shortly after being published in the comic. He was turned into one of the most famous memes. Considered the sad frog meme, Pepe was the center of the meme-universe for quite some time. His reign lasted from 2005-2016.
All good things come to an end, even memes. Pepe the Frog was soon used to relate to racist and bigoted comments and people. Many viewers saw Pepe as a symbol of hate. He was associated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the 2016 presidential election.
Pepe was soon declared a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Recently, the ADL launched a campaign named #SavePepe which failed. Creator Matt Furie was very upset that they turned a harmless cartoon into a symbol of hate. Furie said in a post on TIME’s website the day before the campaign was launched that it was “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.”
Pepe was originally announced dead when Furie uploaded a picture of Pepe in a casket on his Tumblr page. “While it’s unlikely Pepe’s official death will stop extremists from co-opting his image, this was, perhaps, the most effective way for Furie to reclaim his character; Pepe’s soul has returned to his creator. Rest in Peace,” CBR author Shaun Manning said in the post.
Rest in Peace Pepe.