Quebec artist shocked to find his caricatures starring in Ted Cruz Facebook video
Chris Soueidan says he's weighing his options after video gets more than 1M views
Chris Soueidan is weighing his options after discovering two of his artistic creations playing a starring role, alongside U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, on a conservative American website, the Daily Caller
The graphic artist, based in Cantley, Que., does corporate and government design work and draws commissioned caricatures he calls Loogmojis — a riff off the name of his art studio, Loogart.
He also draws public figures and celebrities for fun, posting them on social media.
He was surprised to find Loogmojis of Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo and President Donald Trump appearing in a video produced by The Daily Caller.
His drawings move across the screen to the left of Cruz as he sits at a desk and explains how he wants the cartel to pay for a wall along the Mexican-U.S. border.
The video, entitled Ted Cruz Wants EL CHAPO to Pay for the Border Wall, has had more than a million views since it was posted to Facebook Saturday.
Soueidan, a Lebanese-Filipino Canadian who grew up in Montreal, says he generally does not follow American politics.
But he says he does not support "the wall," and he would not have given his permission to use his art for this cause even if he'd been asked.
"I'm kind of worried that my art is being used, first of all, without authorization or copyright permission, and second of all, it's being used for something I don't necessarily endorse or believe in," he said.
He says he found out about the video when he was contacted by internet personality Jesse McLaren, who told him that his art was being used in an episode of American Voices, an online TV show produced by the conservative website co-founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
"When I realized it was Ted Cruz, the U.S. senator, using it, I was very shocked." said Soueidan.
"It was like a punch-in-the-gut kind of thing."
He says it's not the first time his art has been used without his permission, but this was an especially strange case.
He's not yet sure what he wants to see done about it, although his preference would be to have his art removed from the video. If the producers refuse, he says he will invoice them.
"At this point, the damage kind of has been done," he said.
A spokesperson for Cruz declined to comment on the record with CBC News. The Daily Caller did not immediately return a request for comment.