Man Throws Away Hollywood Career to Become a Low-Ranking Proud Boy

Matthew Greene was fired from his executive role at a design company that had done work for the Disney Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian.”
April 28, 2021, 5:32pm
Matthew Greene was fired from his executive role at a design company that had done work for the Disney Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian.”
Matthew Greene was fired from his executive role at a design company that had done work for the Disney Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian.” (Source: Happy Mushroom, FBI)

On the face of things, life seemed to be treating Matthew Greene pretty well. His digital media and graphics company, Happy Mushroom, was taking off—and had even landed a contract to do art for Disney’s Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian.” Local news reports said he was likely making at least six figures. 

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But somewhere along the line, Greene thought it’d be a good idea to join the Proud Boys, acquire a bunch of guns and tactical gear, and then—allegedly—storm the U.S. Capitol. 

Now Greene, 33, finds himself up against an eye-popping list of federal charges, including conspiracy to storm the U.S. Capitol alongside fellow New York Proud Boys Dominic Pezzola, aka “Spazzo,” of Rochester, and William Pepe, leader of the Hudson Valley Proud Boys.  

When the FBI searched Greene’s home in a leafy neighborhood in Syracuse, New York, they found three rifles, including an AR-15; two handguns; loaded magazines; ammo; a tactical vest; and a helmet, which he was later photographed wearing on Jan. 6. According to records obtained by the FBI, Greene had bought magazines on Dec. 20. In the week after he returned from the Capitol, he spent at least $2,000 on ammunition and tactical gear. The FBI also photographed a military-style vest, which he’d loaded magazines into. They also located Proud Boy insignia at the home he shared with his wife. 

It’s not clear when Greene joined the Proud Boys. The federal indictment identifies him as a First Degree Proud Boy, the lowest rank, which suggests he may have been a relatively new addition to the group.

So far, federal prosecutors have stopped short of placing Greene inside the Capitol itself. They say that Greene, Pepe and Pezzola coordinated their travel and lodging to DC. They included photos showing Greene with Pepe and Pezzola, as well as other Proud Boys facing charges, in the vicinity of the Capitol. Prosecutors say that Greene, Pepe and Pezzola worked together to dismantle the metal barricades, push past the line of police, and finally reach the window that Pezzola smashed using a riot shield. 

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Later that day, someone messaged Greene to ask if he was OK, according to the indictment. 

“I’m good,” he replied. ‘We took the capital.” 

(Gavin McInnes was a co-founder of VICE. He left the company in 2008 and has had no involvement since then. He later founded the Proud Boys in 2016.)

The news that Greene was involved in the Capitol riot has not gone over well with his co-workers over at Happy Mushroom, which has offices in Hollywood and Syracuse. Since it was founded in 2015, it’s racked up an impressive portfolio, having designed graphics for the Mandarloan, helped develop the Jurassic World virtual reality game, and had a hand in the cinematics for NBA 2K20, one of the top selling video games in the US. 

Over the weekend, he was fired from his role as chief technology officer at the company. 

“We are extremely appalled to learn Mr. Greene held beliefs that are so counter to what Happy Mushroom stands for,” CEO and Creative Director Felix Jorge said in a statement. “Since its inception, Happy Mushroom has stood for inclusivity, diversity, and respect for our country’s political process and those who safeguard it. We have no tolerance for violence. We should all be coming together as a people to respect humanity.”

A recent report by George Washington University found that 43 of 357 individuals arrested for their role in the Capitol riot had some form of military experience. Syracuse.com confirmed that Greene served in the National Guard from 2008 to 2014, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. 

According to Greene’s LinkedIn, he studied graphic design in Florida prior to enlisting with the National Guard, and worked in graphic design while he served in the military.