Alleged Crypto Bro Jimmy Fallon Didn’t Disclose His Financial Stake While Hawking ‘Bored Ape’ NFTs on ‘The Tonight Show’
It's never great to take financial advice from people on TV - not Jim Cramer, not CNBC Financial and certainly not Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.
That being said, Fallon and some fellow crypto-shilling celebrities could very well face consequences for their part in the promotion of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs while failing to disclose their investment in the crypto companies behind the creation and trading of the digital assets.
Back around late 2021 to early 2022, the popular primate JPEGs skyrocketed in price amidst a sea of celebrity endorsements before an NFT nosedive decimated many buyers’ investments, leading to questions asked and suits filed. This past December, Fallon was named in a federal lawsuit alongside other A-Listers such as Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow who joined the primate panic and promoted the NFTs while allegedly hiding involvement with the companies behind the craze.
The class action lawsuit alleges that Fallon failed to disclose his stake in MoonPay, a popular crypto trading platform, when he went on The Tonight Show in November, 2021 and delivered a thinly veiled endorsement of MoonPay while bragging about how he bought his first Bored Ape NFT on the trading site. He again used The Tonight Show to showcase the ridiculously priced funny ape pictures in the following January when he and Paris Hilton compared their NFTs during an interview – the real crime here is the cringe.
Since the suit was first filed in December, gossip outlets have speculated about each celebrity's level of involvement in the companies responsible for basically selling memes for millions of dollars. Radar Online recently claimed to have the inside scoop on possible career implications for Fallon’s use of The Tonight Show to promote crypto schemes. One of their NBC “insiders” supposedly claimed, “Jimmy's involvement in this case is getting looked at under a microscope by management at NBC Universal."
Regardless of the validity of this “inside scoop,” the video evidence isn’t particularly flattering for Fallon – his first promotion for Bored Ape-buying on The Tonight Show during an interview with crypto pioneer Matt “Beeple” Winkelmann showed Fallon repeating the name “MoonPay” over and over, laughably claiming, “This is real. I did my homework, MoonPay is like PayPal but for crypto.” The complaint states of the promotion, “This purportedly organic segment on the Tonight Show was in reality a paid advertisement for the BAYC collection of NFTs and MoonPay," which sounds like good old fashioned ‘payola’ to us.
The suit in question accuses these celebrity spokespersons of hiding their investments in MoonPay and Yuga Labs, the company responsible for the actual creation of the NFTs, including the claim that talent manager Guy Oseary used MoonPay to “gift” certain celebrities with the Bored Apes in exchange for free promotion. The plaintiffs specifically target pop star Justin Bieber, who once publicly claimed that he bought a Bored Ape for $1.3 million despite allegedly receiving it as a gift from Oseary.
The list of celebrity defendants includes the likes of Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart, Stephen Curry, DJ Khaled, The Weeknd, Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. With such an illustrious list of possible financial criminals implicated, the only celebrity who is currently being sued for promoting crypto from whom we’ll be accepting financial advice is Larry David, who predicted the FTX crash during last year’s Super Bowl. Maybe we should be more like Larry.