During the Barack Obama years, life was good for Rev. Al Sharpton. But, with the election of President Donald Trump, things took a turn. Apparently, in the need of some quick cash, Sharpton decided to sell the rights to his life story.
Sharpton was Obama’s “go-to” guy, and during the Obama era, race relations had a daily show on MSNBC. There was more racism than Al had time to hustle. But, now that Donald Trump is President, Sharpton never gets invited to the White House, his MSNBC show was scaled back to once a week, and hustle-able racism has all but disappeared.
With a desperate need to get some cash flowing, Sharpton came up with the unique idea of selling his life story. Here’s the real kicker, though. He sold it to his own charity. That’s not a joke. This is a real thing that actually happened.
Al Sharpton runs a non-profit activist group known as the National Action Network (NAN) and brings in an annual salary of $244,661. If that sounds more “profit” than nonprofit, it’s nothing compared to his latest move.
The NY Post reports that Sharpton sold the rights to his life story to NAN for $531,000. In return for that massive sum, NAN owns the rights to the Al Sharpton story for the next ten years and can sell it to any Hollywood producer interested in making a documentary or biopic about the veteran race-hustler.
Sharpton claims that the idea for this sale came from two NAN members and would actually help generate money for his organization. “This way, they make a profit from the beginning and all of the revenues,” said Sharpton.
Considering his tax troubles, it’s clear that Sharpton doesn’t understand how money works. If NAN is out over a half-million dollars in acquiring the rights to his story, they aren’t making money, they are losing money. Presumably, he thinks that NAN will be able to sell his story, but that is unlikely. It also doesn’t explain why he wouldn’t just give his life story rights to NAN, instead of shaking them down for 500 grand.
Sharpton claims this sale is full of value because it includes some video footage of him with Michael Jackson as well as a recording of James Brown singing while Reverend Al talks. “You’ve got real property here. You’re not talking about just me as an activist. These are non-related NAN things that are the saleable items,” Sharpton said.
The question is, does anyone want to bring Sharpton’s life to the big screen? The answer to that probably lies in the fact that he sold his story to his own pseudo-charitable organization instead of a producer or studio. That is to say, no, there is no one interested in this in any way.
Industry insiders say there’s not a lot of profit to be made with his life story, but Sharpton claims he has contracts for two documentaries as well as a film project about his life already in the works. “This guy’s just full of baloney,” said one documentary filmmaker. “A documentarian who has any scruples would not pay someone for their story. Then, it wouldn’t be an honest story.”
A dishonest Al Sharpton story? Who ever heard of such a thing? Maybe Tawana Brawley has.
Another industry insider, entertainment lawyer Mark Litwak, said Sharpton is dreaming if he thinks his story is worth a half-million bucks for a documentary about himself. Documentaries generally don’t even cost $500,000 to make. “You don’t want to spend more than 5 percent [of the budget] on acquiring underlying rights,” Litwak said.
Sharpton has had many struggles with paying both his personal taxes and taxes owed by NAN. He’s taken care of some of that but still owes $736,375 and has $2.5 million in outstanding federal liens against him and a company he owns, according to the New York Post. This latest move to essentially transfer a half-million bucks from a charitable organization that he heads into his personal bank account is likely to raise some eyebrows at the IRS.
Al Sharpton’s job is to literally exploit racism for profit. Despite all of the hysteria from the liberal media that Donald Trump has ushered in a new era of racism, there really isn’t much that the Reverend can generate income off of. Proving that he’s not just a race-hustler, but a regular hustler too, Sharpton has found another way to cash in.