Nas Academy stops operations in Philippines amid controversy with beloved 104-year-old tattoo artist

Nuseir Yassin, also known online as Nas Daily, is officially halting Nas Academy operations in the Philippines after a controversy involving the legendary tattoo artist Whang-Od Oggay.

The statement: Nas Academy addressed the issue in a statement on Sunday, saying some of their intentions were “misunderstood,”  Rappler reported.

  • “We are committed to working with the NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous People) to ensure that all proper processes are followed,” the statement continued, adding that Nas Academy would use this opportunity to “focus on strengthening our processes around how we collaborate with our partners.”
  • According to the statement, Nas Academy has “full respect and belief in both the Filipino people and culture, which is why [they] chose the Philippines as one of the first places to build Nas Academy.”
  • Nas Academy will reportedly “come back more energized and ready to help more inspiring people become teachers in the Philippines.”

What happened: Whang-Od’s grandniece and protegée Grace Palicas took to Facebook to accuse Yassin of taking advantage and profiting off of the legendary 104-year-old tattoo artist, calling Nas Academy a “scam.”

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  • “My grandmother did not sign any contract with @NasDaily to do any academy. Som [sic] people are taking advantage of our culture,” Palicas said in the post. “PLEASE HELP US STOP this disrespect to the legacy of Apo Whang Od and the Butbot Tribe.”
  • In another post, Palicas claims the beloved Filipino artist confirmed to her that she did not sign any contract related to Nas Academy.
  • Yassin refutes Palicas’ claims with a Facebook post showing a clip of Whang-Od placing her thumbprint on a contract. He also claims her family was there during the discussion.
  • The viral vlogger lost almost 370,000 followers as of Friday following the controversy, GMA News Online reported.

Featured Images via Nas Daily (left), DW Documentary (right)

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