Matt Furie, the cartoonist responsible for the infamous "Pepe the Frog" cartoon has filed a complaint with a California court over unauthorized use of his creation.
Pepe the Frog was created in 2005 for a comic strip, but rose to prominence as symbol of the alt-right movement some 8 years later. Today, is is nominally synonymous with the movement and its antisemitism, as has been considered by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate symbol.
Furie's lawsuit was filed against Infowars, an American conspiracy theorist website run by Alex Jones. Jones's website is selling a "Make America Great Again" poster that features Pepe the Frog, US President Donald Trump along with Jones himself, Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, media personality and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous, among others.
The poster, still available on the Infowars site, retails for $29.95.
Furie's complaint is based on copyright infringement; the complaint states that he did not "authorize the use of the Pepe image or character in this poster, and does not approve of the association of Pepe with Alex Jones or any of the other figures shown."
This is Furie's first complaint regarding the usage of Pepe. When the symbol became closely linked to the alt-right movement - which has espoused racist, antisemitic and pro-Nazi ideologies - Furie said that while "it sucks," he "can't control it."
Furie ceased using the frog in his comics after its image became tainted.
Yair Netanyahu, son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, famously used an image of the frog on his Facebook page in what some called an antisemitic tirade against Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros. The post, since removed, earned him praise from alt-right and Ku Klux Klan affiliates.