Lighten Up; Wendy’s ‘Pepe’ Meme Was An Honest Mistake
January 5, 2017 Leave a comment
On Wednesday, Wendy’s found itself in some serious trouble after posting a picture of Pepe the Frog on Twitter. It all started when a Twitter user by the name of MrRespek asked the company, “Got any memes?” Wendy’s replied with an image of Pepe the Frog dressed up as the Wendy’s mascot.
Little did Wendy’s know that Pepe was officially declared a symbol of hate speech by the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL claims that because Pepe has been used in so many anti-Semitic and racist memes, the image itself represents bigotry.
I say give ‘em a break. Wendy’s wasn’t aware that it was a hate symbol and quite frankly, neither was I. It was an honest mistake. It was meant to be funny and lighthearted, not racist or offensive.
Amy Brown, Wendy’s social media manager, assured the public that the person who posted the meme was uninformed about its symbolic meaning.
“Our community manager was unaware of the recent political connotations associated with Pepe memes, and it has since been removed. Since this used to be purely an innocuous meme, he had this fan content saved from a year or two ago,” Brown stated.
The fast-food chain did the next best thing they could by deleting the meme immediately and then apologizing for it afterward. Trust me when I say that I would be the first person to lash out against a company that was being overtly racist or hateful. But that’s not the case, here.
Instead, we have a case of an honest mistake being made in a rather unforgiving realm: the Internet. People blew it way out of proportion and made it a much bigger deal than it was. The person who did this is already embarrassed enough as is, I really don’t find it necessary that we add to their humiliation.