Gaddafi's money stretches all the way to Hollywood
If there’s one thing we can definitely say about Muammar al-Gaddafi, it’s that his money, at least from a PR standpoint, is toxic.
After stories surfaced that Nelly Furtado, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Usher had taken dough for private concerts performed for the Libyan dictator’s family, they were forced to give it away. To save face, they donated the cash – up to $2 million in Beyoncé’s case – to charity.
Yet while these pop stars were able to proactively get out from under the Gaddafi Stink, a new report shows that a movie studio funded by the tyrant’s money is getting shunned by Hollywood for a similar affiliation.
According to the New York Times, Natural Selection, which is backed by Gaddafi’s son, Saadi, is getting blacklisted in Tinseltown for its source of funding.
The younger Gaddafi, along with another group of investors, reportedly sunk $100 million into Natural Selection last year, months before any Libyan conflict bubbled over.
Now, the Times notes, there’s been a “scramble by major Hollywood players and institutions to distance themselves from projects in which Mr. Qaddafi might be involved.”
The paper says William Morris Agency, which had been connected with Natural Selection’s upcoming James Franco/Benicio Del Toro crime pic “The Iceman,” is likely to back out from the deal, and that actors such as Mickey Rourke aren’t commenting on their relationship with the Gaddafi-funded production house.
Perhaps most dramatic to this story so far: producer Matthew Beckerman, who boasted about his Gaddafi money connection in Variety magazine last year, had his name removed from the credits of the New Orleans jazz documentary he has set to debut this week.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money