Without explanation other than the lucrative potential involved in the funding of major motion pictures, Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch — concordantly prominent and reviled billionaire brothers, whose notoriously gracious campaign contributions invariably stir firestorms — have invested significantly and secretly in Wonder Woman, among several other Hollywood blockbusters.
Dunkirk and a forthcoming film by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One, also benefited handily from a hefty fragment of the Koch brothers’ estimated minimum $96.2 billion, combined, as did a number of movies from RatPac-Dune Entertainment in a $450 million slate funding deal, to which they were alerted along with Microsoft’s Bill Gates by now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — who has since foisted stake into a blind trust in avoidance of conflict of interest — in 2013, according to unnamed and unverified sources cited by The Hollywood Reporter.
RatPac-Dune’s status as a private company ensured the deal — with the Kochs’ approximated tens of millions, included — would remain undisclosed to the public.
Slate financing allows investors to give to entertainment companies toward a list of disparate motion pictures in a lump sum deal. According to The Hollywood Reporter,
“Unlike Mnuchin, you won’t see the trio of uber-billionaires listed as executive producers on any of the films they’ve backed. As for why the Kochs and Gates have kept their involvement secret, a source familiar with the deal says it’s simple. ‘They’re in it to make money. They’re not in it for the recognition,’ says the source.”
Together, Charles and David own 84 percent of Koch Industries — a multifarious entity responsible for substantial environmental transgressions, including lobbying for rollbacks on ecological protections, and which focuses primarily on fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers, and synthetics. Koch Industries also maintains an investment division.
In other words, many Hollywood liberals might not be too keen to discover the environmental tramplers also write a portion of their checks — albeit, through a somewhat convoluted investment chain.
Doubtless, millennials — perhaps, in being as politicized as the generations of the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War eras — have failed to actively or tacitly embrace fossil fuels, plastics, synthetic materials, petroleum products, and other items arguably mainstays of the American landscape for decades.
Steadfast opposition, particularly among youth, to projects like Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipelines garnered bitter notoriety for the very industries the Kochs turn to for financial gain. To discover the same family interests and funds behind something as innocuous as major cinema productions could be unsettling for the environmentally and culturally cautious to simply excuse.
Citizen Koch — a 2013 documentary by Carl Deal and Tia Lessin — explores the billionaire brothers’ role behind the Tea Party’s astronomical popularity. Deal — expectedly bemused with the Koch-Hollywood connection — told the Reporter,
“I don’t think the Kochs have spent a dime of money out of altruism. It’s all toward advancing their bottom line, whether it’s in politics or the private sector. I don’t think it would be too cynical to believe that this was not calculated. It doesn’t bode well for Hollywood.”
Sources also told the Reporter Gates invested in the same Warner Brothers slate deal — but requests for comment were not returned.
Investors at this level disputably have no interest in the films they fund, other than as profit opportunities and perhaps hours of entertainment, but environmentally conscientious moviegoers may find sufficient reason — should the source information be accurate — to spend their money elsewhere.
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Contributed by Claire Bernish of The Daily Sheeple.