The Health Promotion Board (HPB) revealed today that it has taken down a commercial featuring the Pepe the Frog meme, which has been co-opted by the alt-right movement in the US as their mascot.
The meme, which first arose from an illustration in a comic book, was around for years before it was appropriated by the controversial alt-right movement. Since then, Pepe the Frog has faced harsh criticism since radicals in the US have used the character to spread racist messages and fringe groups like the neo-Nazi group.
Pepe the Frog is considered so divisive in America that one group, the Anti-Defamation League, added the character to its “Hate Symbol Database”.
HPB, a statutory board under the Ministry of Health, has said that it was not aware of the significance of Pepe the Frog meme that it incorporated in its commercial for its National Steps Challenge Campaign.
A spokesperson for the Government agency told Coconuts Singapore: “Neither we, nor our video producer, were aware of its significance. We would like to thank you for pointing out how the frog image has come to be used in the United States.
“In consideration of the feedback received, the frog image will be removed from the video, to ensure that there is no misconception about the intent of the image.”
HPB has since removed the commercial entirely from its Facebook page.