MEXICO CITY, April 13 (UPI) -- A Mexican political candidate is under investigation by The Walt Disney Company for his alleged use of Kermit the Frog in his political campaign for a local election.
Kermit, otherwise known as Rana René in Latin America, was allegedly used in political advertisements by Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate René Díaz González.
Kermit's likeness was put on clothes and public displays and the case could be treated as piracy. Disney has directed the investigation of the case to its legal department.
The candidate said that the frog used in the advertisements is not Kermit the Frog. He claims the image he used is only half of a character, stating the legs don't show and that the mouth is a different color than Kermit's.
He accuses a smear campaign against him as the basis of the potential lawsuit by Disney. Licensing rights can cost up to $80,000 for "borrowing" Disney images.
Kermit the Frog has gained popularity from his use in Internet memes shared on social media. He can be found in memes making controversial remarks and later stating "but that's none of my business."