The protagonist of Seth Green’s upcoming hybrid series White Horse Tavern has been kidnapped. But it wasn’t one of the human actors.
What happened? On May 8, Robot Chicken co-creator and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios co-founder Seth Green fell victim to a phishing scam and had several NFTs stolen from his crypto wallet, including a Bored Ape named Fred Simian that was meant to star in the upcoming series. Two of the NFTs were sold by the thief, including White Horse Tavern’s leading monkey. So, Green reached out to the buyer of the stolen artwork, @DarkWing84, on Twitter and asked for help finding a solution. (It’s unclear whether the buyer knew the artwork was stolen.)
Well frens it happened to me. Got phished and had 4NFT stolen. @BoredApeYC @opensea @doodles @yugalabs please don’t buy or trade these while I work to resolve:@DarkWing84 looks like you bought my stolen ape- hit me up so we can fix it pic.twitter.com/VL1OVnd44m
— Seth Green (@SethGreen) May 17, 2022
Can Green still make the show? White Horse Tavern was far enough along in development to have a trailer which Green shared at the NFT conference VeeCon in Minneapolis last weekend (linked below). After the theft, many sources claimed that Green had lost the commercial rights to Fred when the NFT was purchased by a new owner, and that he would have to halt production of the show. Yesterday, Green replied to the contrary, tweeting:
Not true since the art was stolen. A buyer who purchased stolen art with real money and refuses to return it is not legally entitled to exploitation usage of the underlying IP. It’ll go to court, but I’d prefer to meet @DarkWing84 before that. Seems we’d have lots in common.
Are the NFTs valuable? According to Vice’s Motherboard, these ones certainly are. The stolen NFTs included Fred, which the thief sold for over $200,000; two Mutant Apes, one of which sold for $42,000; and a Doodle. The two unsold NFTs are worth a combined $70,000 based on their collection’s floor price. Since the theft was reported, OpenSea, the NFT marketplace which hosted the stolen goods, has flagged Green’s account as suspicious and potentially compromised.
Are these types of robberies common? Quite common, in fact. Although it should be noted that most thefts are due to user error on the part of the owner. What happens most often is that an NFT owner connects their crypto wallet to a phishing website they believe is legitimate. Operators of the site can then irreversibly swipe the contents of that wallet. In one particularly high-profile example, Chelsea art gallery owner Todd Kramer (Ross + Kramer) had more than $2.2 million worth of NFTs stolen from his wallet.
Pictured Above: Seth Green at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Credit: Gage Skidmore. Source: Wikimedia Commons.