Yuga Labs has broken its long silence against a theory conspiracy allegation made that paints the company’s founders as racist, neo-nazis. The conspiracy, which was presented via a Youtube video, argued that Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) art is racist, and paints many other sketchy connections to alt-right beliefs and the founders.
Philion, the Youtuber who released the conspiratorial, derived most of his ideas from Ryder Ripps, who has been touting the beliefs long before the video’s creation.
In a Medium blog post shared via Twitter on June 25, Yuga Labs co-founder Gordon Goner said that the team finally decided to clear the air after the theory was featured on a popular YouTuber’s podcast.
“We’ve not responded in further detail to these allegations because frankly they are insanely far-fetched.”
Ryder Ripps, the original “whistle-blower” of the conspiracy, claims that the apes featured in the set are racist caricatures of black people and that the branding and logos of the project are derived from nazi symbology and other racist dog-whistles.
Important to note that Ryder Ripps also released a mock NFT set, RR/BAYC, of the collection using the same art, apparently symbolizing protest against Yuga Labs. A move that has evoked criticism.
The Yuga team did not cover all of the allegations in their blog post, but they made a point to prove that the logo art was not a derivation of the Nazi Totenkopf (skull and crossbones) symbol. They also reiterated that the apes are the personification of the popular phrase “ape’ing in” that insinuates that crypto investors are degens. Many went to Twitter to express frustration that the company failed to address all points of the allegations.
Later that day, the founders announced that they will be pursuing legal action against “all responsible parties” of the conspiracy, promising to “stop the continuous infringement, and other illegal attempts to bring harm” to their company and their community investors.