The tricky thing about the ubiquity of memes is that sometimes the wrong people can use them to promote crappy ideas. That’s what happened with Pepe the Frog, but damned if Leslie Knope is going to let her beloved Pawnee Parks and Rec department be appropriated in the same way. After the NRA tweeted a GIF from Parks and Recreation, the beloved show’s cast and crew were quick to condemn the use and demand the image be removed.
Last night, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch participated in a CNN town hall with survivors of the recent school shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida. Before thousands of community members still processing the murder of 17 innocent victims, Loesch repeatedly rejected calls for stricter gun regulations, including a 21-year-old age restriction for buying a semi-automatic weapon. Her comments were met with boos and jeers by everyone except the NRA, who later tweeted a message thanking Loesch for “being the voice of over 5 million #NRA members.” The tweet came with a GIF of Amy Poehler’s Knope character giving an emphatically deliberate “thank you.”
Parks and Rec creator Michael Shur snapped back, asking the NRA to remove the meme. “I would prefer you not use a GIF from a show I worked on to promote your pro-slaughter agenda,” the producer wrote. He added that Poehler, who doesn’t have Twitter, sent him a text message to relay: “Can you tweet the NRA for me and tell them I said fuck off?”
Nick Offerman, who played the lovable curmudgeon Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec, does use Twitter, however. He sent a tweet directly at both the NRA and Loesch, writing, “Our good-hearted show and especially our Leslie Knope represent the opposite of your pro-slaughter agenda – take it down and also please eat shit.” He capped off the tweet with an American flag emoji.
Adam Scott also had a message about his TV wife, tweeting bluntly, “Hey @nra please stay the fuck away from Leslie Knope.”