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Lawsuit targets celebrities for Bored Ape NFT promotions

Bored Ape Yacht Club are one of the big names in the NFT space but a new Lawsuit is targeting the creators due to their celebrity endorsements

When it comes to the world of NFTs, Bored Ape Yacht Club may be one of, if not THE most recognisable names. But what if all that popularity and ‘cool’ was simply result of paid-for celebrity endorsements?

While there’s seemingly no concrete evidence (yet) to suggest that celebrities were paid to promote their new shiny Bored Ape NFTs. Recent findings through a lawsuit makes our long harboured suspicions seem all the more likely.

Dazed reported on the class action lawsuit that was filed on December 8 2022 in California which accuses the Tonight Show’s host, Jimmy Fallon, and various other celebrities (most famously Paris Hilton) of being involved in a scheme that would see the celebs receive private compensation for their connection with Bored Apes NFTs.

Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Apes NFTs are named in the lawsuit along with numerous celebrities that hold one of their creations.

Some may remember that rather awkward segment of Jimmy Fallon’s interview with Paris Hilton back in January where it seemed as if a the pair were being held hostage to their talk about Bored Apes NFTs. The pair noted that they were from the same community as they both owned an Apes NFT and Paris even gave a quick name-drop to MoonPay in the segment. Neat.

Shady business?

The lawsuit states that “the company’s entire business model relies on using insidious marketing and promotional activities from A-list celebrities that are highly compensated (without disclosing such), to increase demand of the Yuga securities.”

Bored Apes value certainly did skyrocket after various celebrities jumped aboard the NFT train and interest began to peak. If these celebrities were being paid to endorse the assets and they didn’t share that the promotion was paid for, you can start to see the issue.

Diving a little deeper, it would seem that many of these celebrities originally got on board with NFTs through Hollywood talent manager Guy Oseary, ironically dubbed the king of NFTs by Variety magazine. The lawsuit claims that Oseary used his access to celebrities to bring them on board with the promotion of NFTs and they would then receive discrete payments through the payment service MoonPay, yep the same MoonPay Paris name-dropped in her interview. Oh and to add more fuel to the fire, his company is also an investor in MoonPay.

If you’re still sitting there thinking, eh well coincidences happen, then get ready for another. Yuga Labs were signed to Guy Oseary’s management company last year and various celebrities who purchased Bored Ape NFTs including Hilton have thrown in tens of millions worth of investments to MoonPay.

Yuga Labs has denied the claims of the lawsuit in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter commenting that “In our view, these claims are opportunistic and parasitic. We strongly believe that they are without merit, and look forward to proving as much.”

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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