MANILA -- Nas Academy on Thursday reiterated that its course featuring traditional tattoo artist Whang-Od is not a scam.
The online learning platform created by Nuseir Yassin, more popularly known as Nas Daily, denied allegations that the course was created without Whang-Od's consent.
Nas Academy said its team pitched the idea to the artist herself as well as her family, and that they "have worked with us to build it, with Whang-Od teaching herself."
"As a matter of fact, Whang-Od's trusted niece, Estella Palangdao, was present and translated the content of the contract prior to Whang-Od affixing her thumbprint, signifying her full consent to the project. This is the clearest evidence that it is not a scam and achieved the consent of her and her immediate family," Nas Academy said in a Facebook post.
"Everybody was compensated for their time, and for every sale the Whang-Od Academy generates, most of it went directly to her and her family. We just provided the technology and the marketing."
Nas Academy has taken down Whang-Od's course on its website, but said it is only "temporary" as they resolve the issue.
"When we saw the falsehoods circulating online, we were sad. The truth is oftentimes not as simple as a 'tweet.' And online falsehoods can be dangerous. Out of respect for her family, we temporarily took down Whang-Od Academy while we resolve any issues that have arisen from these falsehoods," it said.
The online platform also assured that it is respectful of the Philippines and its culture, pointing out that "40% of Nas Academy is made up of Filipinos."
Whang-Od's grandniece, Grace Palicas, earlier called out Nas Academy for being a "scam," saying that the traditional tattoo artist did not sign any contract to do the course. Her Facebook posts have since been deleted.
Aside from Whang-Od, other Filipino personalities featured in Nas Academy include former Miss Universe Catriona Gray, Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco, food content creator Erwan Heussaff, and singer Moira dela Torre.