Trump, Carpe Donktum Sued for Parody Meme: Report

September 21st, 2020 2:50 PM

Twitter labelled a meme parodying CNN coverage as “manipulated media” after it had been shared by President Donald Trump. Now a lawsuit is targeting the meme’s creator and Trump himself.

The parents of toddlers featured in a Carpe Donktum meme video that parodied CNN’s biased portrayal of Trump supporters “have sued President Trump and meme artist Carpe Donktum for their involvement in the creation and sharing of the meme,” ReclaimTheNet reported September 18. A copy of the summons claimed that Logan Cook, better known as Carpe Donktum, “misappropriated” the toddlers’ “pictures and likenesses” and that the defendant added “fraudulent text to the manipulated video further distorting it.” 

The summons went on to suggest:

“The defendant Cook, in creating the video and sharing it with Trump and/or Campaign, used the pictures and likenesses of Plaintiffs M.H. and F.M., without Plaintiffs' consent, for advertising purposes and/or for the solicitation of patronage for himself and/or for Trump and Campaign in the State of New York.”

Reclaim The Net observed that Trump faces accusations as well:

“The lawsuit concludes by claiming that Carpe Donktum, Trump, and the Trump campaign’s use of the meme has caused ‘severe emotional distress and irreparable harm’ to the parents, violated New York Civil Rights law, caused ‘fright and shock,’ and constitutes ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress.’”

The meme video depicted a fake CNN headline that stated, "TERRIFIED TODLER [sic] RUNS FROM RACIST BABY." The footage featured footage, which had already gone viral on the internet in 2019, of an African-American toddler being chased by a white toddler with seemingly ominous music playing in the background. The segment was followed by a clip of "WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED," which featured the same two children “running toward each other on a sidewalk before embracing as Harry Connick Jr.'s version of the Carpenters’ ‘Close to You’ plays,” NBC News summarized.

While the video was clearly intended as a hyperbolic parody of liberal media coverage, Big Tech and liberal journalists took it with utter seriousness. The parody video’s editor, Carpe Donktum, has since been permanently suspended from Twitter.

Donktum responded to the summons with his own demand for compensation over his permanently suspended Twitter account, according to a tweet by OANN host Jack Posobiec. The statement in the tweet stated: “I look forward to meeting you in court with my lawyer Ron Coleman and my co-defendant Donald J. Trump.”

Donktum reportedly declared his challenge in no uncertain terms:

“Due to their admission that they filed a fraudulent DMCA Takedown which DIRECTLY led to my suspension, I intend to seek compensation for the loss of my now suspended twitter account and for all the losses caused by my wrongful suspension. That value will be determined at trial, but should be substantial.”

Donktum explained that his Twitter account, “which I had built over the course of 12 years and had amassed 273,000 followers, was not only my preferred outlet for expressing my 1st amendment rights, it also serves as an archive of all of my artistic work.”

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