Now You Can Punch 'The Most Hated Man in America' in the Face (for Charity)
Martin Shkreli wants you to punch him in the face.
Well, not you, in particular. But it could be you—if you're the highest bidder in this, um, unique charity auction.
If you're not familiar with Shkreli, you may know him better as the "most hated man in America." He's the smarmy pharma bro who jacked up the price of a life-saving drug by 5,556 percent, allegedly helmed multiple Ponzi schemes, and turned a congressional hearing into a clown show. He also did this, according to Billboard:
Shkreli, the buyer of the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" for $2 million, is the subject of a new profile at Vice. Its author, Allie Conti, notes: "Shkreli says he vacillates between wanting to destroy the record and dreaming of installing it in some remote place so that people have to make a spiritual quest to listen." Shkreli showed-off his expensive purchase for Vice, telling the title: "I'm not just the heel of the music world. I want to be the world's heel.” (A “heel" is a pro-wrestling term for a bad guy.)
He is, by most accounts, not a good dude. And, as such, it's a good bet there are many, many people who'd line up for the chance to punch him in the face.
Shkreli knows this. And he's using it to his advantage. But, for once, not for his own benefit:
If you donate to this site, you are entered into a raffle to slap/punch me. The # of dollars you donate is the # of tickets you get. https://t.co/VRbILlQwh7
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 28, 2016
"This site," if you didn't click the link, is a personal fundraising page for Tyler Kulich, a kindergartner recovering from leukemia whose father, Mike Kulich, passed away in his sleep last weekend. Mike Kulich was Shkreli's former publicist. It's an exceptionally sad story—so sad that even the most hated man in America felt compelled to help out.
The crowdfunding campaign has raised $10,569 so far, but Shkreli says he's received individual bids that are much higher:
So far the two highest bidders to punch or slap me in the face are for $78,000 and $25,500. Let me know!
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 26, 2016
He also says the winning bidder can let someone else throw the punch on his or her behalf. One Twitter user suggested Mike Tyson.
Could Shkreli just donate the money himself? Sure. Even after his arrest in 2015, he's still worth an estimated $45 million. And he said already that he'd match the final donation total. But this approach—all spectacle, eyes of the internet upon him—is more in line with his "world's heel" persona.
It's nice to see him use his notoriety for good, for a change. But still.
Punch away, America. Now's your chance.