A number of allegations were made against a leading NFT collection recently, happening around the time the project's founders were preparing for a huge gathering of community members at its annual get-together.
With NFT NYC and Ape Fest 2022 events over, the founders of Bored Ape Yacht Club have now responded to the allegations, which included more details about the inspiration of the project.
What Happened: Bored Ape Yacht Club was targeted by several users over allegations of the collection being racist in nature.
“As you may have heard, we’ve become the target of a crazy disinformation campaign accusing us — a group of Jewish, Turkish, Pakistani, and Cuban friends — of being super-secret Nazis,” reads a Medium article by the founders of Bored Ape Yacht Club.
The team noted it had previously responded to allegations before and had seen community members come to their defense with facts disproving similar theories.
“Trolls are still spreading ridiculous conspiracy theories online and using them to sell knockoff NFTs (surprise!).”
Related Link: Celebrities That Own Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs
Ape Inspiration: The Bored Ape team said the decision to make a collection with Apes as the focal point dated back to people in the cryptocurrency sector referring to themselves as apes. The CryptoPunks collection also features Apes as one of the most rare traits.
“We liked the idea of creating a whole collection around apes who became so wealthy because of crypto’s rise, that they become extremely … bored,” the founders said.
The "yacht club" referenced is falling apart in the heart of the Everglades, which prompted the decision to have a “grimey, intriguing logo.”
The ape skull related to the apes as being “bored to death.”
The post included artwork from streetwear and skating brands, maritime flags and pennants that was sent via email to a designer for inspiration.
“The BAYC is a club, so having a version of the logo that was a patch made sense to us, and we borrowed from other Yacht Club logos and motorcycle club patch designs.”
The founders included a comment from the Anti-Defamation League about logos.
“The Nazi Totenkopf is one very specific graphic design of a skull and crossbones, and the monkey skull resembles it in no way except insofar as all skulls resemble each other to a certain degree,” ADL Senior Research Fellow Mark Pitcavage said.
Yuga Labs Name: The company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club and several other NFT collections is named Yuga Labs.
“We’re nerds, and Yuga is the name of a villain in Zelda who has the ability to turn himself and others into 2D art. It makes perfect sense for an NFT company,” the founders said.
Founder Pseudonyms: Another area of attack in the allegations was the pseudonyms used by the Bored Ape Yacht Club founders, who before being doxxed against their will by Buzzfeed Inc BZFD, were anonymous.
The team decided it would be “hilarious” to have funny names and go into meetings with important people at large companies and have them say their names.
"Emperor Tomato Ketchup" is the name of an album by Stereolab, which prompted one founder's name.
No Sass was named after founder Gordon being sassy with him, which became an inside joke.
Founder Gordon Goner references Gordon being sick and in hospitals over the course of 10 years and thinking he was a “goner.”
The fandom of the game “StarCraft” led to Garga’s name. People who cheat the ladder system in the game are referred to as Smurfs. Garga references the villain in Smurfs.
Other Details: The founders have a connection to the literary world with Garga working as a book editor for many years and Gordon being a “fiction buff.” Garga wrote his senior thesis on Roberto Bolaño, who the founder said is “beloved in literary circles.”
The Bored Ape collection was also not launched on the day that Adolf Hitler died, something claimed in the recent allegations. The founders said the date listed in an article was wrong and has been used by the troll.
“Who even considers the day Hitler died when starting a company? It’s such a crazy stretch,” the founders said.
The founders thanked the community for rallying behind them despite the allegations.
“Overall, we think it’s crazy that these conspiracy theories have been able to proliferate. It really shows the power that a demented troll on the internet can have.”
Photo: ArtMediaWorx via Shutterstock
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