Yuga Labs Faces Anti-Woke Backlash For Super Punk World Collection “Blurring Race And Gender”

Yuga Labs takes a step back after facing backlash from the community. Crypto Twitter reacted with outrage to the company’s latest NFT collection containing “woke”-related motifs.

Crypto Punks

Yuga Labs turned into the wrong alley with its latest NFT collection, causing a major backlash from the community. The company specializing in developing digital collectibles revealed a new 500-piece collection called Super Punk World. However, the set hardly resembles the best achievements from Yuga Labs, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) or early CryptoPunks. The new release has a distinctly different style, which clearly doesn’t appeal to the tastes of existing fans.

The collection features tall and flat 3D figures that, in the company’s own words, “blur the lines of race and gender and reflect upon virtual versus real world identities.”

The avatars were generated randomly and hand-curated by Nina Chanel Abney, a New York-based artist and painter exploring a diverse range of subjects from race to sex, religion, politics and pop culture. According to the explanation on the project’s website, “Abney has created hybridized figures that fuse racial components and blur the lines between masculine and feminine.” The artist uses this approach to challenge “the notion of an inherent societal value” and push the viewer “to engage with their own implicit biases.”

The Super Punk World collection was meant to be an opening part of the Punk in Residence program – an intended series of collaborations designed to move creative experimentation on-chain. However, Yuga Labs decided to freeze the project after facing outrage from its community on X. Most users were not inclined to mince their words, speaking out bluntly or outright indulging in profanity. Statements like the one below count among the mildest opinions.

Other users made direct references to the “woke” component present in the collectibles. For those not in the know: “woke” is a term describing openness to social diversity and equality issues, and it’s frequently associated with “progressive” beliefs and political correctness.

In reaction to the backlash, Greg Solano, a co-founder of Yuga Labs, posted an update announcing the termination of the project. “Yuga will no longer touch punks. They will just be decentralized and preserved on the blockchain,” he wrote. Solano has also made it clear that the Super Punk World items will only be made available for Nina Chanel’s supporters who hold NFTs from her Super Cool World collection.