How Pepe the Frog Became the Mascot of Trolls, Racists and Incels
The new documentary Feels Good Man explores how racists, trolls and incels turned an innocuous cartoon character named Pepe the Frog into a symbol of hate. On the latest Low Key podcast, we talk about how the situation epitomizes many of the problems of the internet, where misinformation and propaganda choke out facts and helpful information.
Feels Good Man, directed by Arthur Jones, goes deep into the backstory of Pepe. Once he was a simple creature drawn by artist Matt Furie, known by the dorky catchphrase "Feels good man," which Pepe used to explain why he pees with his pants down.
The document shows how this innocuous creature was soon embraced by a depressing online community of do-littles who identify as "NEET" — an abbreviation for "not in education, employment, or training."
When "normies" — including women — invaded their world by starting to embrace Pepe, the social outcasts rebelled, trying to make Pepe as repugnant as possible by affiliating him with Nazism, misogyny, and other repellant ideologies.
To Furie's dismay, Pepe and hate soon became inseparable.