The “Moon Man” is an Internet meme originally popularized on the now-defunct Internet forum You’re the Man Now Dog. The forum appropriated the 1980s McDonald’s restaurant chain mascot “Mac Tonight,” which featured a smiling crescent moon image wearing sunglasses.
In the 2000s, internet users began to create GIFs and videos of Mac Tonight, which they called “Moon Man,” typically coupled with violent or racist rap songs using computer-generated voices. By 2015, the Moon Man meme spread to other forums such as 4chan and 8chan, where it became associated with alt right language and imagery, including explicit white supremacist imagery. For a time, hundreds of offensive “Moon Man” songs existed online. Since then it has joined Pepe the Frog and assorted other images in the pantheon of favored alt right graphics.
However, because of the Moon Man’s mundane and non-racist origins, as well as the fact that Mac Tonight imagery is still also used by people who are not white supremacists, care must be taken to judge a Moon Man image only in context before determining its association with white supremacy. A version of the meme that contains no racist or white supremacist elements should not be automatically construed to have such a meaning.