Palmer Luckey clashes with Meta exec over his 2017 firing

Palmey Luckey — the Oculus VR headset creator who was controversially fired from Facebook in 2017 after he donated $10,000 to a pro-Donald Trump group — has called on Meta “to make everything public” about the still-murky circumstances behind his exit.

Facebook has repeatedly denied that Luckey, who sold Oculus to Meta for $2 billion in 2014 and now runs the military contractor Anduril Technologies, was forced out of the company because he helped fund a campaign of critical memes about Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The bizarre saga resurfaced over the weekend after Luckey sparred on X with Meta’s chief technology officer, Andrew Bosworth – who claimed he had “absolutely no idea about palmer’s politics now or then and defended him publicly inside the company when people were agitating around them.”

Luckey immediately questioned Bosworth’s credibility, saying the Meta executive had “retweeted posts claiming I donated to white supremacists, and a post saying that anyone who supports Trump because they don’t like Hillary Clinton is a s—ty human being.”

“You publicly told everyone my departure had nothing to do with politics, which is absolutely insane and obviously contradicted by reams of internal communications,” Luckey said. “It is like saying the sky is green…don’t try to play the apolitical here here.”

“Not claiming to be apolitical, I certainly have my own politics probably different than yours, but internally at the time I certainly was clear I thought no employment consequences should come from someone’s political beliefs and people asking about it at Q&A were out of line,” Bosworth replied.

Palmer Luckey called on Meta to “make everything public” about his firing. REUTERS

The two ex-coworkers exchanged a few more barbs, with Luckey eventually stating that he is “down to throw it all out there.”

“If the truth actually backs up what you say about me and why I was fired, let’s make everything public and let people judge for themselves,” Luckey said. “You are the CTO of Meta, a trillion dollar corporation. This is fully within your power, not some peon decision. Just say the word.”

The Post has reached out to Meta for comment on the spat.

In 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that Luckey had told people that he was fired from Facebook because his support for Trump had sparked outrage within the company.

The outlet obtained internal emails purportedly showing that Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and others had pressured Luckey to publicly throw his support behind then-presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a libertarian, to tamp down the criticism.

Meta CEO Andrew Bosworth is pictured. REUTERS

“We can say unequivocally that Palmer’s departure was not due to his political views. We’re grateful for Palmer’s contributions to Oculus, and we’re glad he continues to actively support the VR industry,” a Facebook representative said in 2018.

Luckey previously addressed the situation during an appearance at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference in 2022, declaring he had “no love for Facebook” and that the company “fired me.”

Meta has long denied that Luckey’s ouster was politically motivated. AFP via Getty Images

“The official reason is no reason at all — they just didn’t have a place for me anymore,” Luckey said.

“The real reason is because I gave some money to a particular presidential [candidate] … a particular political effort that was unpopular in 2016,” he added.