The guy who created Pepe the Frog is upset his creation has been co-opted by the alt-right and others, and now he’s suing an artist who has made a living off of his work.
According to a lawsuit obtained by The Blast, Matt Furie says he created Pepe the Frog in the early 2000s as a “peaceful frog-dude.” But over the last few years, Furie says Pepe has turned into a symbol for the alt-right without his blessing. He claims they have mixed “images of Pepe with images of hate, including white supremacist language and symbols, Nazi symbols, and other offensive imagery.
One such person, Furie claims, is artist Jessica Logsdon, who he claims copied his Pepe the Frog creation and “freeloaded off Pepe’s popularity” and his labor.
Furie claims Logsdon has been selling her Pepe paintings on her website and eBay, including works called “Pepe Patrol” and “Antifa” (see above). Other works morphine Pepe and President Donald Trump include “Donald Trump Pepe” and “President” (see below).
Furie claims he sent Logsdon a cease and desist letter last month, but Logsdon responded by posting the letter on her Twitter page. In addition, Furie claims Logsdon responded by mailing a 24-inch by 24-inch painting featuring Pepe hugging an American flag and the text “SHH,” “NO TEARS,” and “ONLY MEMES NOW.” The painting was sent to Furie’s lawyer and “was not accompanied by any note or other explanation.”
Logsdon does not have the paintings available on her website any longer, but she still sells similar works via eBay.
Furie is seeking a permanent injunction to keep Logsdon from selling her paintings, along with damages.
Logsdon’s lawyer, Marc John Randazza, tells The Blast, “The lawsuit is clearly more politically motivated than legally motivated.”