Kermit in the Gulag


Scenes of Kermit’s circumstances in the film became an instant curiosity to people online, juxtaposing Kermit’s child-friendly image with the Gulag’s harsh conditions. For example, on June 7th, 2014, DeviantArt user YuiHarunaShinozaki posted a Fluttercry Watching TV meme that features a screenshot of Kermit in restraints at the Gulag (shown below, left).

As cultural memory of the film faded, clips and images from the film continued to appear online, often wondering why and where this came from or mistaking images from the film for actual pictures from a gulag camp. On April 23rd, 2017, controversial clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson tweeted a clip from the film. He wrote, “Kermit in the Gulag. Really. How can this be? Anything is possible in the days of KEK.” One user, @Gordon_Pasha, responded with a meme that features imagery from the film with the caption, “Tired of Communism? There’s always KEK” (shown below, center).

The following year, writer Peter Van Buren published an article entitled “Twitter Suspends Me Forever” on the Ron Paul Institute website. Years later, on October 11th, 2020, Twitter user @dbateyko shared screenshots from the article and wrote, “Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity posting kermit gulag.” The tweet received more than 390 likes and 65 retweets in less than six months (shown below, right).

Dr Jordan B Peterson @jordanbpeterson · Apr 23, 2017 •.. Kermit in the Gulag. Really. How can this be? Anything is possible in the days of KEK. 29 27 56 239 I 'Chinese' Gordon @Gordon_Pasha Replying to @jordanbpeterson #FreeKekistan :D Tired Of Communism? There's Always Kek... 5:31 AM · Apr 24, 2017 · Twitter for iPhone Jim Henson Kermit the Frog Photograph Facial expression White Mouth Product Toy Organism Font Happy Line Adaptation Technology dan bateyko @dbateyko •.. Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity posting kermit gulag Peter Van Buren: Twitter Suspends Me Forever Ron Paul Institute written by peter van buren tuesday august 7, 2018 & EN FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY ome About Us Programs Subscribe Support Conta atest Posts PEACE AND PROSPERITY diana's Donald Rainwater GULAG < Older tecord-breaking rian Party Governor Peter Van Buren: Twitter Suspends Me Forever ate Vote Total? tuesday august 7, 20 s Republican Governor Eric J. b has lost support from dividuals who months back e counted as within his solid support for his reelection in oming November election. f the reason for this loss of written by peter van buren appears to arise from two GULAG 2020 read on.. an Supreme Court Rules t Governor's Coronavirus tes f the harshest coronavirus es in America have been d by Michigan Governor n Whitmer. On Friday, the Some readers are aware I have been permanently suspended from Tw @wemeantwell. preme Court ruled against tinuation of those unilateral s, saying under state law This followed exchanges with several mainstream journalists over thei support for America's wars and unwillingness to challenge the lies of 12:11 PM · Oct 11, 2020 · Twitter Web App Product Font Adaptation Screenshot

The same image also appeared in a tweet by Twitter user @imheosphoros, who captioned the image, “Same card might be used for left-wing based on your awful analogy.” After being corrected by Twitter user @leftytimes, the exchange went viral due to Twitter user @nourmal_woman sharing the conversation. The post received more than 168,000 likes 24,000 retweets (shown below).

nour abi-nakhoul •.. @nourmal_woman This is the funniest interaction l've ever seen on this website * death to america 2 @leftytimes meh. @imheosphoros · 1h Same card might be used for left-wing based on your awful analogy. bro just take the L u posted kermit gulag GULAG 272 2 * death to america 2 @leftytimes · 1h v this is from the muppets 2 47 6:32 PM · Oct 10, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone Product Sleeve Font Screenshot

In Mel magazine’s oral history of Muppets Most Wanted that focuses on the inclusion of the gulag, Joe Hennes, the owner and editor-in-chief of the Muppet fan site Tough Pigs, said:

I’m not sure why this movie — when it wasn’t all that successful — has created so many memes. Perhaps it’s because these images come out of left field. We’ve never seen Kermit in jail before and we’ve never seen him talking to an evil doppelgänger before, so these images are really funny and they stand out among the countless other Kermit memes.

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