Can Pepe the Frog Ever Be Redeemed?

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Amongst all the discuss of the 2020 election, it’s straightforward to neglect every thing that led as much as Donald Trump profitable the presidency in 2016. But should you preserve your eyes shut and focus you would possibly bear in mind a number of issues: heated debates between Trump and Hillary Clinton, a chaotic Twitter panorama, and an in any other case cute frog that turned the mascot of internet-savvy 4chan customers who had been making an attempt to meme Trump into the presidency.

Back in 2016, Pepe the Frog was added to the Anti-Defamation League’s database of hate symbols. But earlier than that, he was simply part of a layabout group of mates in Matt Furie’s comedian collection Boy’s Club. He was by no means meant for something however an excellent time. But when the web obtained ahold of him, he turned a face of the NEET 4chan lots and in the end a logo of the so-called alt-right.

The documentary Feels Good Man, which is at the moment out there on PBS and a number of other streaming companies, traces that journey. It additionally chronicles how Furie, a mild-mannered San Francisco artist, tried to reclaim Pepe and switch him again into a logo of affection. It’s a formidable job, however maybe not inconceivable. As filmmakers Arthur Jones and Giorgio Angelini present of their doc, Pepe really turned a image of resistance to authoritarian rule throughout the protests in Hong Kong simply final 12 months.

In this week’s episode of the Get WIRED podcast, senior editor Angela Watercutter talks to Jones and Angelini about the journey they went on with the creator of Pepe—and what the little inexperienced frog means now.

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