Jacksonville mother of “Success Kid” sends legal threat to Iowa representative

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — We’ve all seen it, the cute little toddler holding a handful of sand with the face of pure determination, on the internet: this kiddo is known as “success kid."

The mother of “Success Kid" Sammy Griner has sent a cease-and-desist notice to Iowa Rep. Steve King for using the viral image of the toddler as part of fundraising efforts.

The Jacksonville mother Laney Griner tweeted "Representative King and his campaign staff appropriated ‘Success Kid’ without my permission.”

“I do not endorse Representative King and, like most people, I strongly disagree with his views," Griner said.

The Success Kid image appeared in an online ad for the campaign donation platform WinRed, asking for donations to “fund our memes.” Griner tweeted a screenshot of the image on King’s official Facebook page. We weren’t able to find the post on King’s page as of Tuesday morning.

Griner and her attorney demanded that King remove any “Success Kid” images from any websites affiliated with him or his campaign by 9 a.m. Wednesday and display a notice that the image was used without permission on any site that the meme appeared on. Griner is also asking to see any funds raised with the image for donations to be refunded and for King to notify those donors that the image was used without permission and is not affiliated with him or his campaign.

According to court documents, if the conditions are not met, Griner will file a suit against King, WinRed and the King campaign.

Jessica May

Jessica May

Jessica May is an assignment editor and digital content producer for Action News Jax.