Let’s make sure we’re on the same page here: U.S. Representative Steve King is not a good dude. The Republican politician has a track record of extremely bigoted and misogynist remarks and white-nationalist beliefs.

Well, Rep. King is up for re-election and thought using a meme would resonate with those hip young voters. Except he used the wrong meme. On WinRed, which is a fundraising platform, Rep. King’s campaign used an image of “Success Kid” alongside the headline “FUND OUR MEMES.”

success kid meme steve king
via WinRed

Success Kid’s mom saw the campaign ad and was not happy with her son representing Rep. King’s beliefs.

In a Twitter thread, Laney Griner explained that neither she nor her son has any affiliation with Rep. King.

She said “Success Kid” is about positivity.

She also made clear she does not endorse Rep. King and strongly disagrees with his views.

And directed any questions regarding the situation to her legal counsel.

In a letting to King, Griner’s attorney’s wrote:

“Our client has a long-established history of licensing ‘Success Kid’ to legitimate advertisers,” Griner’s attorneys wrote in the letter to King. “Unlike you and your campaign, they followed the law, gave our client the opportunity to approve or disapprove of their uses, bargained for licenses, and paid for the rights they legitimately acquired.”

Griner took the famous photo of her son in 2007 and the viral image has become a well-known and lovable meme. In 2012, Griner copyrighted the image, giving her control over how the photo of her son is used.

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*First Published: January 29, 2020, 7:04 am