Pepe the Frog is Killed off to Avoid Being an Alt-Right Symbol
Online cartoon character Pepe the Frog, who made his debut in 2005, appears to have been killed off by its creator in a bid to stop his image being hijacked by right-wing groups.
Pepe's creator, Matt Furie, over the weekend depicted the frog in a coffin, mourned by other members of his Boy's Club cartoon strip.
Furie recently complained that “a chilled frog” had become a “hate” symbol. Pepe has recently been depicted as Adolf Hitler and as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Alt-Right has repeatedly shared Pepe memes on social media.
Won't work. Pepe is immortal. https://t.co/8yOEeJAvXS— Lana (@LanaLokteff) May 8, 2017
Furie lamented in a recent article for Time magazine that it was a nightmare that his “blissfully stoned... peaceful frog-dude” in Boy's Club - who enjoyed “a simple life of snacks, soda and pulling his pants all the way down to go pee” - was now being used as a symbol by the Alt-Right.
Recent efforts by Furie and Boy's Club fans to reclaim Pepe were overshadowed by the the Alt-Right movement's transformation of the character during the US elections last year when it proclaimed Donald Trump as its presidential candidate of choice.
The movement has been described as an alternative to mainstream conservatism, and its proponents have repeatedly countered anti-White hatred online.
President Donald Trump at one point re-tweeted a caricature depicting him as Pepe in October 2015, with the caption "You Can't Stump the Trump".
In September, Pepe was added to the Anti-Defamation League's database of symbols alongside other logos including the Swastika and the “Blood Drop Cross” of the Ku Klux Klan.
The anti-White lobby group said that the Alt-Right had taken a popular internet meme and “twisted it”.
The frog also made headlines in mid-September when Hillary Clinton said most of Mr. Trump's supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables”.
President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., then shared an altered version of the movie poster for “The Expendables”, which showed Pepe with his father and other conservatives, labelled “The Deplorables”.