California-based cartoonist Matt Furie has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against conservative radio host Alex Jones’ site over allegedly unauthorized depictions of Pepe alongside right-wing figures such as President Donald Trump, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and Jones himself.
“Furie 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 in this poster, or with the ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA) slogan,” the lawsuit states, according to The Verge.
Pepe was turned into a meme after Furie first drew the frog for a 2005 web comic. However, during the 2016 presidential campaign, members of the alt-right began championing Pepe as their mascot and using his likeness to spread racist, sexist and anti-Semitic messages. The character has since been declared a “hate symbol” by the Anti-Defamation League.
“My listeners understand this is all frivolous,” Jones told the Associated Press. “We don’t have any choice but to fight back, and the law is on our side.”