On Thursday, news broke that Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey has been quietly funding an anti-Hillary political group based on memes. According to a report from the Daily Beast, Luckey donated to Nimble America, “a social welfare 501(c)(4) nonprofit dedicated to shitposting in real life.” (It’s not quite clear what this means other than posting memes to billboards in Pittsburgh, which the group did.) But a day later, having seen the intense reaction from the VR community, Luckey is apologizing for “negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners.”
In a Facebook post on Friday evening, Luckey addressed his political donation, explaining that he gave $10,000 to Nimble America and writing “the recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views.” (The “recent news stories” being the breaking report from the Daily Beast, in which Luckey is heavily quoted on the record.) He also addressed several Reddit posts (which were also cited in the Daily Beast story) from a user under the handle NimbleRichMan, which the Daily Beast reported to be Luckey’s display name. From Luckey’s Facebook post:
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.
A fair apology. Except that if Luckey is a Gary Johnson supporter, what was he doing at a Trump rally in a “Can’t Stump the Trump Shirt” this spring? And, maybe more to the point, if he “did not write” those posts, why did he tell Daily Beast reporter Gideon Resnick that he did?
Luckey’s post ends with a final apology for the repercussions his actions “are having on the community” and reiterating that his donation speaks for him, and him alone. Translation: Don’t fault Oculus because its founder enjoys shitposting. Happens to the best of us.