In an exclusive interview with Esquire magazine, the creator of the Peps the Frog meme which has been appropriated by the racist alt-right movement backing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, said he’s voting for Hillary Clinton.
According to Matt Furie, who created the red-lipped frog in 2005 for a comic book called Boys Club, he was unaware his creation had been co-opted by the so-called “alt-right,” until he woke up one morning to a flood of interview requests.
Speaking with Esquire’s Matt Miller, Furie said he was stunned since he is not a regular user of the internet.
“I don’t really spend time on the Internet. I’ll maybe just check my email or go on Facebook or something. I had nothing to do with the whole meme appropriation of Pepe. I just looked at it with amusement,” he explained. “I woke up one morning to a flood of emails and calls from media trying to interview me. I had never heard of the alt-right or any of that stuff—even white nationalism—I don’t know about that shit. I’m learning about that stuff with you, about what the hell is going on. And unfortunately I think it’s giving this fringe group more attention. They’re just these scattered nihilistic guys, I don’t even know what their intention is.”
Asked how he views Trump whose fans have turned Pepe into an image that is now listed — along with the swastika and the burning cross — as a symbol “most frequently used by a variety of white supremacist groups and movements,” by the ADL, Furie had some strong opinions.
“Obviously it’s not in line with any of my beliefs. I’ve seen outrageous stuff involving Pepe online before, but I try not to dwell on it. I blame Trump for all of this, because he kind of looks like this smug Pepe meme. Now it’s just this runaway train,” he explained. “But the people who are driving this train are these anonymous Internet trolls who don’t stand for anything except for nihilism and getting a rise out of whatever racist or sexist or disgusting thing they can do. It’s just an idiotic joke.”
As for who he is voting for…
“I’m voting for Hillary for sure,” he said. “I was a big fan of Bernie, but that fizzled out, so I’m all Hillary 2016.”
You can read the whole interview here.