Nazi racists made Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs BAYC founder says that an elaborate troll went too far. Six months after Yuga Labs first response to allegations that its Non-Focused collection, The Bored Ape Yacht Club contained racist imagery, its founders published a blog post.
“We’ve been the target of a crazy propaganda campaign accusing us-a group of Jewish and Turkish, Pakistani and Cuban friends-of being super secret Nazis,” Yuga Labs cofounder Gordon Goner (whose real identity is Wylie Aronow), wrote on Medium.
He called the allegations “insanely absurd” and “bullshit”, and said that it was time for “an end to all of this.”
Goner noted that Yuga Labs had already discussed many of its origins in prior posts. However, he went on to give more context about the BAYC emblem, the name “Yuga Labs,” as well as the pseudonyms of the founding teams.
Goner explained that there is a long history where people refer to themselves affectionately as “apes” in crypto. This was the reason for the creation of Ape avatars.
A private email was also shared by him that provided insight into the creation and evolution of the BAYC logo. It was inspired by streetwear culture, skateboard culture, Japanese anime and hip hop culture according to the message.
Goner described Ryder Ripps, an anti-BAYC activist, as a “troll” who “spreads ridiculous conspiracy theories online and uses them to sell knockoff NFTs.”
Ripps is a creative director and created gordongoner.com in order to explain his theories about why the BAYC “racist” or “contains Nazi dogs whistles.” He also created an Ethereum collection, RR/BAYC that directly snatched BAYC art. Ripps’s Twitter profile picture is his RR/BAYC avatar.
Ripps’s collection was removed from OpenSea because of “a claim for intellectual property infringement.”
Ripps’ collection had approximately 2,900 ETH traded in total ($3.48 million) before it was removed by OpenSea. Ripps answered Decrypt Tuesday when he was asked what he would do with the collection funds. He said that he “will use it to pay Neil Strauss for a book about me.”
Ripps stated in a May Instagram that he created the RR/BAYC NFs to “take down Yuga Labs.” Ripps said that the work was a provocative act and that it [sic] trying to down this company.
Ripps didn’t respond to Decrypt’s request for comment on Friday.
BAYC’s racism claims are months old. They rely on obscure references to small details in the NFT collection’s artwork, pseudonyms chosen for the founders, as well as seemingly insignificant mentions in social-media posts by either the founders or their families. Ripps claims that Garga’s Instagram bio includes a mention of the word “cowabunga”, which Ripps says is evidence of a coded reference to the “alt right.”
Goner responded to Goner’s blog today: “Garga’s wife, who is Mexican-American, likes the Ninja Turtles like millions of people,”
The accusations were revived this week when Philion, a YouTuber, published an hour-long video called ‘BORED APENAZI CLUB’ that delved into Ripps claims in detail. This video has been viewed nearly 850,000 times.
Today, Yuga Labs and Goner dismissed the video as well as Ripps original blog post. They called it an elaborate trolling ploy. We think it’s insane that conspiracy theories can proliferate. Goner stated that it really shows how much power a demented internet troll can wield.”