Jungle Freaks went from being the sixth-largest NFT project on OpenSea to having one of the largest value losses in the NFT ecosystem. Created by legendary cartoonist George Trosley, the Jungle Freaks collection was popular among the crypto community and even caught the attention of celebrities. However, Trosley’s past work came back to haunt him. He has been accused of making racist cartoons.
The accusations caused the Jungle Freaks collection's floor price to drop from 1.3 ETH to less than 0.3 ETH, which is over an 80 percent loss. Some of the NFTs are being sold for as low as .0001 ETH.
What is the Jungle Freaks collection?
The Jungle Freaks collection consists of a collection of hand-drawn images created by Trosley, who was a famous cartoonist for Hustler magazine. Hustler was a pornographic magazine that also contained satirical content that drew a lot of controversies since it was first published in 1974. The founder of the magazine, Larry Flynt, passed away in February at the age of 78.
The concept of the Jungle Freaks collection is that zombies have taken over the world in the year 2077 and they have seized military equipment. The zombies are in a battle against a gorilla regime as the gorillas have genetically mutated in the future. The cartoons based on the concept are authentically drawn by Trosley. Currently, there are 10,000 NFTs available on OpenSea. Trosley’s son, George Trosley III, curates the artwork and manages the process of how the art is minted.
Trosley hand draws the art pieces in his personal studio. He doesn't use computer-generated technology or artificial intelligence. After a piece is completed, his son prepares the NFT for minting and to be listed for sale on OpenSea. The initial collection was first released in October and it sold out in less than five minutes.
What sparked the racist accusations?
Racist cartoons that were drawn by Trosley during his time with Hustler in the 1970s surfaced on social media and stirred a buzz. Jungle Freaks released a statement on Nov. 1 along with a video acknowledging that the racist cartoons were offensive. However, the statement said that the cartoons were taken out of context. Trosley claimed that the cartoons were made to draw attention and spark conversation involving social and political issues that occurred during those times.
Trosley described the ridiculed cartoons as “political satire” and said that they don't represent his personal views. The family also pointed out that Flynt was an advocate for anti-racism. He was even shot by a white supremacist in 1978.
The Jungle Freaks organization will hold a virtual town hall meeting on Twitter Spaces on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET. There will be a Q&A session where people can ask the family questions. Besides the racist cartoons, the group has also been widely accused of creating an NFT that has a Jungle Freak wearing a Nazi’s General hat.
Famous actor Elijah Wood owned several Jungle Freaks NFT.
Mostly known for his role as the main character of the Lord of the Rings movie, Elijah Wood previously owned at least six Jungle Freaks NFTs. On Oct. 31, the actor released a statement on Twitter stating that he sold all of the NFTs after learning about Trosley’s racist cartoons. Wood donated the funds from the sales to LDF and Black Lives Matter.