Jimmy Fallon’s Painfully Awkward NFT Segment Cost Him $216,000, May Have Breached Network Rules
At this point, we've probably all been unfortunate enough to stumble across that Jimmy Fallon clip. On The Tonight Show earlier this week, Fallon and guest Paris Hilton shamelessly shilled their Bored Ape NFTs, in the most painful minute of our lives.
Now, it turns out Fallon spent big bucks on making the segment happen. It was discovered that the host's NFT – Bored Ape #599 – set him back around $216,000. However, some also suspect that the promotion of the ape on his show may amount to a conflict of interest, which would be a breach of NBC policy.
While Fallon and Hilton didn't make it abundantly clear during the show, NFTs aren't intended to just be ugly little JPEGs you show off to your friends. They can be resold on sites such as OpenSea, going for as much as the buyer is willing to part with. Some suspect this was the purpose of The Tonight Show's segment – to increase the desirability of Bored Ape #599, making it likely to sell for more at auction.
Since NFTs are an "investment" (albeit a pretty daft one, if the endless reports of rug pulling schemes are anything to go by), Fallon's endorsement of his own purchase would amount to a breach of NBC's own regulations (thanks, Los Angeles Times). The network says that its presenters must "disclose and obtain approval for all outside work, financial interests and other personal activities/relationships that may create or appear to create a conflict.” They also cannot "use company info, resources, time, etc. for personal benefit."
NBC has already defended Fallon, saying that he did not breach the conflict of interest policy. However, this is new territory for legal departments, and it's difficult to see how Fallon doesn't stand to gain from showing off that ugly monkey to tens of thousands of viewers, when it's very much designed to be auctioned off.
Well, if he sticks with his purchase, I guess $216,000 is a small price to pay to be a Twitter main character all week.
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