After the controversy that labeled Pepe the Frog a symbol of anti-Semitism and white supremacy, the beloved internet meme is now set to return to reclaim his reputation. The character's creator, Los Angeles-resident Matt Furie, has revealed that he intends to take back the character he made and remove the stigma of him being a hate symbol.

Rise of Pepe

The anthropomorphic frog was originally shown as a character in a 2006 comic book titled "Boy's Club." The comic showed Pepe's adventures together with his three friends. Shortly after the comic's release, images of one particular panel with Pepe saying "feels good man" was posted on 4Chan.

Thousands of altered images of the character soon made its way onto the website, with Pepe now becoming a go-to image to express different emotions.

A hate symbol

While Pepe was mostly used as a great way to express different emotions in chats, forums, and social media. The character instantly became a topic of conversation amongst people who were unfamiliar with the meme due to the use of his likeness in different propaganda posts.

The meme was hijacked by extremist right movements with connections to White Nationalist, anti-Semitic groups, neo-Nazis and other extremist organizations. President Donald Trump even posted a Pepe meme during his campaign trail, which was then mutated into other hateful and ubiquitous versions by the white nationalists.

While Pepe was not initially thought of as a symbol of racism and hate, due to the fact that the bad ones were only a fraction of the thousands of other Pepe variants, Hilary Clinton's camp during the elections outright vilified him. Clinton's website even published an article that linked Pepe to racism and hate. The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights against the discrimination of the Jewish people, even banned the character and labeled it a hate symbol back in 2016.

Bringing him back

In the hope of making Pepe the symbol of love and acceptance, ABC Net reports that the character's creator has launched a new Kickstarter campaign called "The Save Pepe Campaign." Furie and his brother have launched the campaign to raise $10,000 in order to create a comic book from scratch that will feature Pepe.

The book will showcase the character in a different light to hopefully show people his better side. The artist believes that the campaign will meet its goal and that it will be proof that Pepe can still be a positive symbol.