“Racists losing their shirts pursuing shockingly racist ‘art’ projects” is one of the more promising new comedy subgenres, landing somewhere between “bloodthirsty autocrats trying to annex territories they don’t control” and “Donald Trump walking onto airplanes.” And boy oh boy, have we got a great example of just such a pratfall!
If this story doesn’t tickle your schadenfreude bone, nothing will—or could. Far-right racist goofball (and blogger) Theodore Beale has admitted to his fans that the money they contributed to crowdfund a movie based on his Confederacy-themed superhero has disappeared down a Trump-sized sinkhole, never to be seen again. “I wouldn’t count on us getting the money back,” Beale recently told his minions, who had contributed more than $1 million to the abortive project.
As The Daily Beast described it, the film Rebel’s Run was supposed to feature “the character Rebel fighting a global police force hunting down freethinking conservatives.” (Not sure what a “freethinking conservative” is, but I suppose it could refer to any congressional Republican who spits out their ball gag before Trump is through branding their backside.)
At any rate, the money Beale’s fans raised for their anti-woke Übermensch project has suddenly gone “poof”—and it almost certainly isn’t coming back. Why? Because instead of leveraging his fans’ contributions to secure a traditional bank loan, Beale consulted a charlatan.
It seems banks tend to frown on bigots doing egregiously racist, sexist, and homophobic shit like this:
Beale’s history of racism could have made it difficult for Rebel’s Run, which stars a character sometimes depicted in a Confederate flag bustier, to find traditional financing. He has claimed that certain races are more likely to commit violence and called one of his foes in the science-fiction dispute, a Black author, a “half-savage.” Beale has affiliated himself with the Gamergate movement, opposes women’s suffrage, and once described homosexuality as a “birth defect.”
Given that track record, he instead turned to Utah-based Ohana Capital Financial, a business aimed at customers that would struggle to get money elsewhere.
As Ohana’s promotional materials put it, according to prosecutors, the firm offered “banking [to] the unbankable.” On Nov. 5, 2020, Beale transferred the $1 million to Ohana to be held in escrow in advance of future film funding.
Predictably, Ohana was just about the worst place these racists—or any other gormless gits—could have parked their money. Yes, even worse than Truth Social stock. The company was started by James Wolfgramm, a guy who has described himself as a “cryptocurrency billionaire” but is really just a Potemkin putz. As The Daily Beast reported, Wolfgramm’s putative wealth was actually a mirage, built on fake social media posts featuring sports cars he didn’t own and “high-tech cryptocurrency mining rigs” that didn’t exist.
Wolfgramm was also in debt to a client who, in September 2020, paid Ohana $4 million for COVID-19-related personal protective equipment that Wolfgramm apparently never purchased. The non-billionaire then allegedly used the movie funds to help pay off that existing debt, leaving Beale and his brigade of Li’l Leni Riefenstahls in the lurch.
Sadly (for him, not the rest of humanity), Wolfgramm now faces four counts of wire fraud over the disappeared funds, after Beale threw in the towel and called the FBI. Unsurprisingly, Beale has already moved on to his next nonsensical project, which, like so much of right-wing “art” and “entertainment,” is sure to flop.
Why? As Daily Kos Community Contributor SemDem wrote in 2021, soon after failed screenwriter Ben Shapiro vowed to build his own film studio:
People are shaped a lot more by culture than by politics. We discuss movies and TV shows with our friends and family a lot more than we discuss political figures and elections. It’s no wonder conservatives hate that liberals dominate the cultural landscape.
Their misperception lies in their constant belief that if only they had a robust conservative film industry, with studios cranking out shows telling people what to believe, they could change the culture to align with their toxic vision. They truly believe the culture is controlled by Hollywood, but that’s not true. Not at all.
Studios are a business first, and they know that the best, most profitable content reflects the culture, instead of trying to control it. If there was an appetite for bigotry, misogyny, and celebrations of greed, the studios would deliver just that.
Of course, rather than admit that he got scammed by a fellow traveler, Beale is suggesting this was all the work of the sinister woke mob. “I strongly suspect that this whole thing was a targeted operation intended to break our community,” he said.
Yeah, hate to break it to you, Ted, but your “community” was already irrevocably broken. Somehow, though, you just didn’t realize it until now.
The single most powerful thing we can do to stop Trump and the GOP from stealing 2024 is to elect Democrats to key positions downballot this year. While you’re here, could you please chip in $3 or more to help protect fair elections?
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.
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