Palmer Luckey founded the modern VR movement and made millions of dollars selling his company to Facebook. Now, he’s using that cash to pay for a group of self-proclaimed “shitposters” who want to influence the upcoming U.S. presidential election with anti-Hillary Clinton internet memes.
A report from The Daily Beast made Luckey’s contributions to the Nimble America group a matter of public record, and now the Oculus founder is explaining his actions. Nimble America, cofounded by right-wing reactionary blogger Milo Yiannopoulos, has already posted anti-Clinton billboards in Pittsburgh. Luckey’s support of those actions has drawn criticism from gamers and developers, and several studios have claimed they will no longer support Oculus VR’s products as a result.
That outrage has led to Luckey posting a response on his Facebook page, which you can read below:
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.
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.
Still, my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus. I’m sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community.
Most notable about Luckey’s statement is that it directly contradicts claims from The Daily Beast report. He claims he did not write posts on the pro-Donald Trump subreddit known as /the_donald/ under the NimbleRichMan account. The Daily Beast story claims Luckey confirmed to reporter Gideon Resnick that he did, in fact, make posts under that account.
Here is where I sought that clarification from him and what he said. pic.twitter.com/pPfLKUX5Cg
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) September 24, 2016
Luckey also makes a point of noting that he is not a founder of Nimble America — although the story does not claim that he was. Resnick’s original report only notes that Luckey is listed on Nimble America’s site as “vice president.”
Despite those inconsistencies, however, Luckey is making an attempt to put this behind him and Oculus. He admits to funding the organization, but he claims he will vote for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Now, the company will have to wait to see if that’s enough to quiet critics.
In the meantime, Oculus’ chief executive has come out with a statement of his own:
I want to respond to the recent press stories involving Palmer. I know that Palmer is deeply sorry for the impact this situation is having on the company, our partners and the industry.
Everyone at Oculus is free to support the issues or causes that matter to them, whether or not we agree with those views. It is important to remember that Palmer acted independently in a personal capacity, and was in no way representing the company.