/Nas Daily tackles allegations of him being exploitative in the Philippines in 6-minute video – Mothership.SG – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

Nas Daily tackles allegations of him being exploitative in the Philippines in 6-minute video – Mothership.SG – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

Nuseir Yassin, founder of the Nas Daily media company, has uploaded a video on Facebook on Monday (Aug. 9) following a recent controversy he’s been embroiled in.

The 6-minute video, which addresses the allegations made against him by Filipino farmer and social entrepreneur Louise De Guzman Mabulo, is titled “Be careful of fake posts”.

Allegations against Yassin

Mabulo originally took to Facebook on Aug. 5 to share her experiences working with Yassin two years ago in 2019, accusing Yassin of being disrespectful, rude and exploitative.

She alleged that Yassin imitated and mocked spoken Tagalog-sounding phrases.

She also claimed that Yassin was “fuelling a neocolonialist narrative using our need for foreign validation”, and he “only wanted content, a good, easy story to tell that would get him more Filipino views”.

Yassin denies allegations

Yassin later wrote in a Facebook post that he saw the reality on the ground and had kept silent about it because of the discrepancy between what was advertised and what was happening.

He reiterated this point in his video on Aug. 9, saying that research has to go into every video that they make in order to verify the story.

In the case of the Cacao Project, Yassin claimed: “On paper, it was supposed to be a non-profit that helps farmers. In reality, it’s a for-profit that exploits farmers. We said we cannot do this video in good conscience.”

He also shared screenshots, which included anecdotes of their others’ experiences with the Cacao Project, suggesting that it’s “evidence” it “may not be real”.

They refused to make that episode even if it would go viral — a decision that “pissed off a lot of people”, according to him.

Yassin also denied allegations that he mocked their accents or insulted the farmers there.

Yassin claimed he got permission to work with Whang-od

Mabulo’s accusations against Yassin also followed an earlier accusation that a master class run by Nas Academy, an edtech platform by Yassin, was not real but a scam.

Gracia Palicas, the grandniece of the oldest living tattoo artist in the Philippines, 104-year-old Apo Whang-Od, said the elderly woman “did not sign any contract with @NasDaily to do any academy”.

She expressed concern that some people are “taking advantage” of their culture.

Online learning platform The Nas Academy had previously offered an online tattooing course by Whang-Od on their website.

On Aug. 6, Rappler reported that National Commission on Indigeneous Peoples Cordillera (NCIP) will be reviewing the validity of the alleged contract between Nas Daily and the tattoo artist.

Responding to the claim that they had used Whang-od, he said that they seek permission for everything that they do.

“We worked with the family directly and got their consent,” he said, adding that they had made sure to support them during these “difficult times”.

He also said that they are working with lawyers to “let the truth come out”.

“We paused Nas Academy for now to work with NCIP to make sure everything is legal, and everything is okay, because we care,” Yassin said.

The video also documented how he had started a company in the Philippines, and how they have been “on the ground, doing the work” of telling inspiring stories.

He also ended off the video saying: “Don’t get me wrong, we’re not perfect, we make mistakes. But our intentions are pure!”

See the full video here, which has garnered over 700,000 views and 58,000 reactions within six hours: