Palmer Luckey Issues Statement Amid Backlash for Funding Pro-Trump Group
Image courtesy of: Oculus
The media had a field day against Oculus founder Palmer Luckey after a report by The Daily Beast on Thursday evening claimed that he had anonymously funded a non-profit, pro-Trump political organization called Nimble America, which supposedly involved circulating anti-Hillary Clinton internet memes.
According to the report, Luckey allegedly used the pseudonym “NimbleRichMan” on the now-deleted Reddit account, posing as a wealthy Trump supporter to push a political initiative against the Democratic presidential nominee.
After rumored reports on this controversial story began to spread like wildfire, several virtual reality developers, including some VR enthusiasts, expressed anger condemning Luckey for financially supporting the group and its “dirty” political tactics. A number of VR developers and major publishers even went as far as to announce that they would stop supporting the Oculus platform unless Luckey steps down from his position at Oculus.
Now, in an effort to set the record straight, Palmer Luckey has issued an official statement on his Facebook page in response to the recent reports and outcry:
“I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners. The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views,” said Luckey.
“Here’s more background: I contributed $10,000 to Nimble America because I thought the organization had fresh ideas on how to communicate with young voters through the use of several billboards. I am a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the past, and I plan on voting for Gary in this election as well.
“I am committed to the principles of fair play and equal treatment. I did not write the “NimbleRichMan” posts, nor did I delete the account. Reports that I am a founder or employee of Nimble America are false. I don’t have any plans to donate beyond what I have already given to Nimble America.”
Following Luckey’s response online, Daily Beast reporter Gideon Resnick released excerpts on Twitter of his email correspondence supposedly with Luckey, in which he acknowledged the “NimbleRichMan” account represents him, though he states he did not set up the account himself.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe and Head of Content Jason Rubin also posted a message on Facebook regarding the situation and showed support to Luckey:
Unfortunately, when dealing with political opinions, it’s not uncommon to face some criticism and backlash, especially if you are a prominent public figure. However, regardless of whether you agree or not with someone’s political views, everyone has the right to express them. Yet, it seems the general argument, for most people, isn’t necessarily with Luckey’s views but that he aligned himself with an organization that is said to be “dedicated to shitposting.”
In his statement, Luckey wanted to make clear his position to everyone and let it be known that his actions do not represent Oculus in any way. “Still, my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus. I’m sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community,” Luckey concluded.