I don’t have much use for “reality television stars” or their ilk. Now I have a new reason to be annoyed by their very existence. According to a story that broke over on a The Bachelor subreddit, and is supported by ongoing research ProPublica has done into PPP payouts, at least four former cast members of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette franchise applied for PPP loans under their personal LLCs. At least three of them have, as of this date, received those funds. Tayshia Adams’s one-person LLC, Tayshia Adams Media, received $20,833. Lauren Burnham Luyendyk and Arie Luyendyk Jr. a couple who met and married during a 2018 season of The Bachelor received $20,830 for their “company” Instagram Husband. Dale Moss, who competed in the very short 2020 season of The Bachelorette was approved for $20,833 in COVID Relief funds, but has not yet received any payments.
This is all some super shady nonsense. But, let’s talk for a moment about why a performer would incorporate themselves. This is actually something that came up when Cynthia Nixon ran for Governor of New York. Cuomo tried to use the existence of her corporation against her, as proof that she’d be in the pocket of big business. Truthfully, a lot of artists and performers create corporations for themselves for tax purposes. Usually they’re S-Corps, which are known as “loan out corps” because, as a performer, you loan yourself out to projects and then you get paid for it. Being incorporated makes it much easier for you to get paid, and for taxes and the fees associated with acting (agents, stylists, blah blah blah) to be dealt with appropriately.
Looking into the corporations these Bachelor people have set up for themselves, they’re domestic LLCs, which means that they’ve basically created companies where they are the owners and the employees, but they are not responsible for any debts accrued by said company. Their applications for PPP loans are for things like supporting their influencer activities while listing themselves under the “independent writers, artists and performers” category. I CALL SHENANIGANS! Winning a dating contest does NOT make you a performer, or a damn artist. And having an Instagram account where you tag fashion designers or shill gel manicures doesn’t put you on the same level as a brick and mortar business that had to close its doors and send its employees home during the pandemic.
There are plenty of actual artists and performers who have suffered and struggled all through the COVID outbreak and subsequent lockdowns. Broadway runs were put on hold, Hollywood shut down TV and movie production, concert tours were canceled. SAG-AFTRA created a disaster relief fund for its members because all of the secondary industries that usually employ actors were shut down too. Did any of those folks apply for PPP loans? NO. They went on unemployment like the rest of us. They understood that those loans were for businesses that were truly struggling to pay employees and stay afloat, not for supporting some Instagram grifter bullsh*t.
Earlier in the pandemic, it was revealed that some larger, multi-million dollar restaurant groups had applied for and received federal money. At least most of those business owners had the decency to return the funds. Now that they’ve been called out, what will these “influencers” do with their money? Can they be influenced into returning it?
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