Map of celebrity NFT shenanigans

It's been noted of late that celebrities are hawking NFTs, and that their behavior while doing so is odd and creepy. Exhibit 1 is a viral clip of Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon's stilted discussion of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, "the longest 77 seconds" in media history.

There's something about the clip that gets under the viewer's skin. Hilton and Fallon display a specific unease not experiened by normal people. They know they don't understand what they're pushing, they know being in that position invites catastophic consequences, and they know they're live. But most of us don't know much about any of those things, so we just see something "profoundly unsettling" suggesting unseen priorities and expectations.

Max Read did the work: it turns out the celebs you're seeing doing this are linked to a particular agency, CAA, which is deep into NFTs, and some of them are investors themselves.

I don't quite know what to make of this. Is it a … scam? A dodge? A conspiracy? One of the funny things that the world of web3 seems intent on revealing is the extent to which the boundaries between concepts like "Ponzi scam," "pyramid scheme," "multi-level marketing," "conspiracy," and "just regular old financial capitalism working as intended" are not really as clear as we might like or hope.