The social media team at Wendy’s is in hot water today. Their squad tried to seem hip by tweeting out a picture of the Pepe the Frog meme styled as the Wendy’s girl mascot.
However, unbeknownst to the fast food chain, ol’ Pepe is now seen as a hate symbol.
Users on Twitter immediately flagged the post for its connection to the meme, which has been co-opted by the far right and is now considered by the ADL to be an anti-semetic symbol (for the whole history of how this frog went from harmless cartoon to hate speech icon, see the Washington Post’s recap).
Wendy’s issued an immediate apology and deleted the tweet. The exchange was captured by the Verge and is reposted below.
“The person who tweeted it did not know the meems [sic] new meaning, and promptly deleted it,” Wendy’s social media team explained afterwards.
These days, food brands are encouraged to show personality on social media. But sometimes, things backfire!
Is the Internet over-reacting or is this a legit issue? Sound off below.