With the recent activity that is coming to fruition by Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe, regarding his DMCA claims and suing people over the use of Pepe the Frog, it has sparked a lot of controversy. Video games depicting Pepe, articles featuring Pepe and other scenarios including the green frog seems to be on the receiving end of DMCA strikes and prompting Furie and his legal crew to sue people. However, it seems that Furie is crossing the line and that includes a line that he, himself, drew.
The illustration of this very line that was drawn sometime ago happened this very year, do you remember when it happened? I’ll tell you when it happened, this line of being “reasonable” started back on January 26th, 2017.
I’d like to call this part robbery, but this very “line” that Furie constructed was accompanied by a Kickstarter campaign that asked for $10,000 and reached $34,757 (and counting) to fund “Save Pepe — be nice man.” If you are thinking “what does this ‘Save Pepe — be nice man’ even mean?” Well, I’ll tell you. It all started with Furie wanting to take back Pepe from the “Internet,” because he felt that they corrupted the character.
In addition to the above, the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) labeled Pepe as being a hate symbol, which brought Furie, I quote, into a “bad slump” and “had been something difficult” for Furie to “deal with”, thus sparking “Save Pepe — be nice man.”
To summarize the Kickstarter campaign…
“Before Pepe the Frog was a meme designated a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, he began his life as a blissfully stoned frog in my comic book Boy’s Club where he enjoyed a simple life of snacks, soda and pulling his pants all the way down to go pee. Boy’s Club debuted in 2006, Pepe became a meme around 2010, then stuck around the internet long enough to become an institutionally recognized hate mascot. Needless to say it’s a nightmare so I killed him off. But now I’d like to bring him back, and I’d like to ask your help in funding a new zine celebrating a resurrected Pepe, one that shall shine a light in all this darkness and feel good again.”
So, in other words, he needed your money to bring back a fictional character… I’ll let you think that over for a bit.
Moreover, this leads to the “line” that Furie drew, because it is the second paragraph featured on the Kickstarter campaign. The “line” that he, Furie, himself claims to be an unreasonable goal that is currently manifesting as we speak sits below:
“We understand there’s no way to fully control the internet or how people decide to use Pepe the Frog. Trying to control that would be a completely unreasonable goal. That said, the aim of this project is to positively resurrect Pepe through the creation of a brand new comic in the spirit of the original BOY’S CLUB.”
Looking at his recent actions and then comparing them to the statements made above is very much an oxymoron, right?
Furie is claiming that there’s no point in trying to control the internet, and yet he’s trying to control the internet. He claims that there’s no way to fully control how people use Pepe, and yet he’s literally attempting to control how people use Pepe by threatening them with legal action.
Furthermore, Furie noted that he lost licensing deals as the fiasco escalated over Pepe in the past, and now he is working with a lawyer to protect the character after he “re-debuts Pepe.” But, he hasn’t even re-debuted Pepe yet and strikes are already being sent out. The new Pepe is still in the works and will debut in December as confirmed by Furie himself on September 17th:
“Right now, we’re hard at work writing, drawing, and designing the new Pepe the Frog zine along with all our cool rewards! This is the part of the process where we tuck away for a bit and create! Thanks for your continued patience and support during this time.”
“Your use of Pepe the Frog in connection with your promotion of hate is unauthorized and unacceptable. Pepe is a peaceful frog who represents togetherness and fun – not hate.”
So Furie needed money to bring back Pepe in a positive light after claiming you can’t control the internet, but is also using lawyers to control how people use Pepe on the internet.
With that all said, who’s actually being unreasonable here? From what I’ve observed, Furie’s hypocritical actions seem to be manifesting “unreasonable” goals.