Several female NFT artists have accused a popular NFT collector, who goes by the name Kato, of emotional abuse. In a long article, entrepreneur, author, and artist, Rebekah Bastian claimed that she spoke to 17 female artists, who accused Kato of “manipulation, control, humiliation, shame, and threats.” Allegedly, Kato has also created a private community called KatoKrew with more than 200 young female artists.
So, what exactly are the allegations against NFT collector, Kato?
What Have Female NFT Artists Accused Kato Of?
The stories the female artists shared have a similar pattern. Kato is first “really nice, kind and supportive” to the artists. He then “manipulates” them to be more “reliant” on him, all the while constantly trying to “control” them, Bastian alleged.
Firstly, KatoKrew has several communication channels, including Telegram and Discord, where members can share and bid on each other’s artworks. Apparently, it’s also mandatory for the members to tweet their work with the hashtag #KatoKrew. Bastian alleged that it is in these channels that Kato “creates a sense of control, paranoia and competition amongst his “girls.””
Furthermore, the NFT collector allegedly put different combinations of women in different chats to make them compete among themselves. “He is the master of playing people against each other if he wants to sow distrust,” a female artist told Bastian.
Bastian also alleged that Kato put artists who disagreed with him on a “timeout” on Discord. Allegedly, the NFT collector also allegedly tried to control which communities the women were part of, who they sold their works to, and which tweets they liked.
Humiliation, Shaming, and Threatening
In her article, Bastian further alleged that Kato often humiliated and berated women. “He treated me like shit, telling me that he invented me, that I owed my life to him, that I wasn’t good enough and stuff like that,” a woman told Bastian.
Furthermore, whenever KatoKrew members did things Kato disagreed with, he would often publicly “guilt and shame them.” In the screenshots Bastian shared from the female artists she spoke to, Kato can be seen telling women he’s “disappointed” in them, or that they “betrayed” him.
“Kato’s next step when he feels he has lost control of someone is to threaten to sabotage their art careers, and oftentimes try to follow through on those threats,” Bastian alleged. Artists shared that Kato allegedly tried to stop collectors from investing in artists he was angry with. On some occasions, he even wrote to the artist’s friends to unsubscribe from them.
Moreover, Kato reportedly maintains a “blacklist” of artists to not buy from. However, Bastian added that she was unable to verify its existence. Furthermore, a group of artists have also come together to support women artists who have either left KatoKrew or are trying to leave it following emotional abuse.
Kato is yet to respond to any of the allegations (at the time of going to press).