You are reading this means you’ve probably heard of NFTs and bluechip NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club. If you haven’t, then you must be living under a rock. Well, who am I to judge you.
little intro of Bored Ape Yacht Club
Bored Ape Yacht club NFTs are made by a company called Yuga Labs which contains a collection of 10000 bored-looking ape images. The cheapest bored ape costs 75 ether ($91,917) at the time of writing, so you should know how big of a deal it is.
With great fame, controversies always come (i tried to sound it like a spider man slogan). It was no exception for Yuga Labs’ bored ape collection. They have been accused of racism and nazism against the bored ape collection.
Video about Bored Ape Nazi Club
The discussion about whether the white supremacist esotericism and racist images used in Yuga Labs‘ flagship Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) nonfungible token (NFT) collection have been reignited by a video posted by investigative YouTuber Philip Rusnack, also known as Philion.
The video starts with Philion saying, “what if I told you, the bored ape yacht club is pulling the biggest troll in internet history”?
Rusnack presented his argument in the hour-long video posted on YouTube on Monday, asserting that BAYC is “one giant alt-right inside joke,” employing terminology, symbols, and memes from the anonymous message board website 4chan.
I am gonna mention key things he noted. Don’t worry, and I am not gonna drag this article too long.
He said that the NFT images contained racism toward Black people and compared the language and symbolism utilized by Yuga Labs and the BAYC to that of the Nazis.
BAYC logo is similar to Nazi Totenkopf
The first proof he presents is the logo of BAYC is similar to the Nazi Totenkopf symbol used by the SS Panzer Division in World War II.
He says, “the skull and bone in the logo represent death and death head. both logos have 18 teeth, and the number 18 represents alpha numeric code for Adolf Hitler.”
Regarding the BAYC logo, Yuga Labs stated that it was intended to give the impression that the “club” was “ramshackle and divey.” Why a skull was chosen:
Because these apes are “bored to death,” we chose an ape skull to represent their boredom.
Mark Pitcavage, a senior research scholar at the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism and a frequent source of information on extremism, stated in a February interview with Input that he found no connection between the logo and the Totenkopf, adding:
The Nazi Totenkopf is one visual representation of a skull and crossbones, and the monkey skull resembles it only far as all skulls are somewhat similar.
The name Yuga Labs
Philion then mentions the word Yuga from Yuga Labs is taken from Hinduism. Long story short, he points out that the word Yuga is taken from the phrase Kali Yuga which means the age of darkness.
Hearing about Hinduism, I quickly hit up my old pal from Asia, who is Hindu. I sent him the video and asked him about Kali Yuga. He said, “what that video showed about Kali Yuga is true.”
But he was a little puzzled. He asked me why they used Kali Yuga, though? after that. I was confused. he said, ” why didn’t they just search for the word Yuga?” he continued, “it doesn’t represent bad cause yuga means generation timeframe or decade.”
The question he raised is noteworthy. Why didn’t Philion research for it? Maybe he knew the meaning of Yuga, but he wanted Yuga Labs to look bad, so he went for the word Kali Yuga.
Rolling Stone Bored Ape Cover
At one point in the video, Philion shows the image of Mutant Ape in the front with Rolling Stone at the top and random things in the background. He then tells viewers to find the ‘Dog-whistle’ in the image soon after he shows the severed ape arm and connects it to racism toward black people.
I mean, really? The whole collection is based on Apes, so you can’t expect to find a dog hand or goat hand. Glad it wasn’t the human hand; otherwise, he would’ve connected it to cannibalism.
And another thing is that the banana bullets used in the Bored Ape game are Shuriken shaped, not the Swastika. Philion wants his audience to view it as Swastika. That’s not cool.
At the end of the video, Rusnack asks his viewers to put pressure on BAYC NFT owners to “burn” their tokens by sending them to an unusable, unrecoverable wallet address:
“I want every famous actor, athlete, and person who has a lot of power to burn their fucking ape. I want to make such a fucking shit storm that everyone has to do something, from Steph Curry to Post Malone to Jimmy Fallon.”
Then he tells viewers to buy the Ripps version of NFTs dubbed RR/BAYC as a protest.
Ripps has been accused of using his compiled research as a publicity stunt to sell his own BAYC derivative NFT collection called RR/BAYC, which has over 6,000 NFTs based on the original collection.
Ripps has said that the collection is satire and a protest meant to teach people about the alleged extremist ties of the BAYC. But these claims don’t provide an argument against what Ripps said in his research.
Let’s assume everything PHILION said is true, then why the hell did he advertise the exact copy of so-called racist NFTs again? Even if you or Ripps chose the Apes, why didn’t you erase the so-called racism traits from Apes?
It doesn’t make sense unless RR/BAYC is a money grab and a Scammy project led by them. The very thing Philion draged on and trashed for an hour, then why did he restart the same cycle?
Now, what are they gonna do next, make a RR/Bored Ape Game? I will assume for a moment that what Philion said about Bored Aped Yacht Club game is right. Then what does he have to say about the games like Doom and Wolfenstein?
Wolfenstein and Doom are both RPG games where you fight Nazis. So by that logic, their founders and writers are also racist?
Game developers and storytellers have been putting random and trolling easter eggs in their games for decades, but to go out of your way to say it’s a racist secret project is just ridiculous and is an attack on artistic freedom.