Founders of Bored Ape Yacht Club issue a letter amidst alleged NFT racism

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), the leading face of the NFT space with 10,000-strong series of art generated Apes, are under the attack of allegedly propagating NFT Racism as media frenzy breaks out calling for BAYC to be burnt, hence the hashtag “#burnBAYC”.

Since April 2021, the value has risen to more than $5 billion USD, prompting the emergence of other similar ventures. The apes have a variety of costumes and traits, the most of which are racially oriented or have a military basis.

The Documentary behind it all

When it comes to controversial topics regarding the rich, there is no doubt opinions, both good and bad, will be made. This time, a large audience is leveling serious allegations against Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Philion, a YouTuber, accuses the BAYC of disseminating covert Nazi symbolism and fostering race stereotypes in a one-hour documentary. The dispute has raised serious concerns about the future of the blockchain industry.

For centuries, people have been degraded by comparing them to apes/monkeys. It’s termed “simianization.” Throughout history, totalitarian leaders have used it to justify violence and prejudice against other groups by dehumanizing and comparing them to apes. Some of the races who have been and continue to be a target of this methodology are : Asians, Jews, Irish, but in recent times, is more commonly used against the population of Black ethnicity.

The idea of racial symbolism in the collection has been a big discussion point on social media throughout the year, with artist Ryder Ripps releasing a compilation of what he claims is Nazi imagery and antisemitism in early 2022 on twitter. In his extensive post, he claims that Bored Ape Yacht Club contains racist ‘dog whistles, white supremacist signifiers, and arcane racism.’

This idea is well highlighted in Philion’s YouTube video. The YouTuber frequently mentions how white nationalists in the United States use 4Chan for highly encrypted communication. This is all part of a popular YouTuber’s strategy, according to Philion. According to the YouTube video, BAYC is a skilled racist troll job in the mold of neo-Nazi 4Chan forums.

Founders of BAYC’s Response 

Yuga Labs co-founder Wylie Aronow claimed the company has no plans to address the charges, calling them “insanely far-fetched.” However, the #BURNBAYC movement had grown too enormous to ignore, pushing them to devise a reaction to the “ridiculous controversy,” he claimed.

The letter described the origins of the names BAYC and Yuga Lab, as well as the design of the BAYC insignia, which has been accused of eerily resembling the Nazi Totenkopf emblem. According to the letter:

“We never wanted to take ourselves too seriously, so the look of the club is ramshackle and divey. Everything about the BAYC was meant to convey a spirit of irreverence and absurdity.”

“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.”

You can find the full letter here.

What are your thoughts on the whole controversy?