The following letter was sent to and posted on Tuesday, October 30th:
Dear Mayor Adler,
I want apologize to you directly for IndyAustin’s error in using the Pepe the Frog image on an ad opposing your election. I do understand how this can be interpreted and ask you to accept that this was not at all intended to malign you or any group of people. We do not condone hate speech in any form.
You may have read that we found the clip on the internet that seemed to fit our “shell game” ad opposing your Soccer Stadium proposal, and did not realize the offense that would be taken to that image. The Anti-Defamation League also states that not all uses of “Pepe the Frog” are racist, but we do understand your concern, especially at this moment, which is why we pulled the ad.
We rightfully oppose your re-election, but there is nothing in the hearts and minds of the people of IndyAustin that promotes, condones, or believes in bigotry in any form. We hate it as much as you do.
Again, please accept our apologies.
This fair-minded KXAN Report was just after we issued our apology.
The following was posted on Monday, October 29th:
It was just brought to our attention this morning that an image in our recent 1-minute video “Steve Adler’s Shell Game”, Pepe the Frog, was expropriated by the Alt-Right.
Unfortunately, Pepe, originated in a comic by Matt Furie called “Boys Club,” had no say in the matter and this was our error.
Here is additional information from Wikipedia about Pepe and its listing by the Anti-Defamation League and Pepe’s creator:
The Anti-Defamation League added certain incarnations of Pepe the Frog to their database of hate symbols in 2016, adding that not all Pepe memes are racist. Since then, Pepe’s creator has publicly expressed his dismay at Pepe being used as a hate symbol.
We at IndyAustin have no use for hate speech.
We honestly thought it was a cartoon of a pea smoking a cigar — taken from an video online — not ours.
We have changed the video without this image.
Again, our apologies!
Our main number is 512.535.0989 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independently yours, Austin!