×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Why Some Stars Get Kicked Off Kickstarter

Crowdfunding can be difficult — even for famous folks

For a while there, Kristen Bell and Zach Braff had us thinking that all a celebrity had to do to make money on Kickstarter was just show up. Post a pitch video on the crowdfunding website and voila, fans shower you with dollars like rose petals.

If only that were true. As some other stars who have followed in their footsteps have found out, fame offers no immunity from failure when it comes to getting millions to finance passion projects. There doesn’t seem to be any one reason why that is, but pointing out the many pitfalls may protect the inevitable next wave of entrants before they suffer similar consequences.

SEE ALSO: Zach Braff Kickstarter Success: Will Crowdfunding Transform Showbiz?

Before celebrities even open their mouths on Kickstarter, they’ve got one strike against them. Why give money to someone who’s already a success? But as Bell and Braff proved with their own pitches, charm and wit can work magic.

But now that other stars are giving Kickstarter a go, it turns out it’s not so easy. Former teen TV star Melissa Joan Hart was forced to suspend her bid to fund her romantic comedy, “Darci’s Walk of Shame,” after generating little more than $50,000 in a month’s time. Employing the same kind of self-effacing humor Braff and Bell used in their own pitch videos just didn’t work.

It simply may be that Hart isn’t as beloved as Braff, who is a dynamo on social media. But her failure may be due more to a case of content than personal popularity. While Braff was pitching “Wish I Was Here” — exactly the kind of film his fans loved last time around with the cult classic “Garden State” — Hart was pitching a title character that represented a departure from the squeaky clean roles with which she made her name, which is like asking people to love you for doing something other than what they love you for. On Kickstarter, talent should stick to what made them popular, not look for a departure.

SEE ALSO: $2 Million for ‘Veronica Mars’ Breaks Kickstarter Records, Gets Greenlight

That’s not the mistake Shemar Moore made. The handsome TV actor played directly to the fan base he built up from his days on the soap “The Young and the Restless” by pitching a romantic comedy of his own with himself in the lead role. He, too, borrowed from the Braff playbook by appealing to fans about how he was struggling to maintain creative control of his film.

But while Moore uses his video to pour out his heart about artistic integrity, he’s also parading his chiseled chest by whipping off his shirt midpitch. Maybe that kind of hypocrisy is why he’s currently nowhere near reaching his $1.5 million funding goal.

At least Zosia Mamet of the HBO series “Girls” keeps her clothes on in her own pitch. And she doesn’t want millions of dollars, just $30,000.

But it’s what she wants it for that may be the problem: to make a musicvideo with her sister, Clara, for a folk music song they wrote.

Really, Zosia? You’re a great actress, but who on earth is going to finance your “unique brand of folk via body percussion, banjo and harmonies?” Most would presume your “Girls” salary can cover this kind of indulgence.

With absurdity like this, a Kickstarter celebrity parody was inevitable. And it came courtesy of comedian Jon LaJoie, who doesn’t even bother pitching a passion project. “By simply turning over your hard-earned money to me, I could become super-rich without all the added pressure of actually doing something,” he deadpans.

LaJoie cuts to the heart of the self-entitlement and condescension of some of these celebrity Kickstarter videos. Maybe that’s why there’s so much criticism that online crowdfunding is best left to the unknowns who are most in need.

More Biz

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Kobe Bryant's Best Days Were Still Ahead of Him (Column)

    I was strolling around my local flea market Sunday morning when I looked down at my phone and read the horrible news: “Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash.” I let out an audible gasp. Of course, my utter shock instantly morphed into journalistic concerns over how we were going to cover this unfathomable news. I [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein trial Jan 28

    Harvey Weinstein Trial: Accuser's Ex-Roommate Says She Was Told About Alleged Rape in 2006

    Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial in New York continued Tuesday with the former roommate of one of the ex-movie mogul’s accusers corroborating details of Weinstein’s alleged 2006 sexual assault. Elizabeth Entin, who was Miriam Haley’s roommate at the time Haley alleged she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein, testified that Haley, a former assistant on “Project Runway,” [...]

  • Gloria Allred

    Gloria Allred Rips Apart Weinstein's Defense Team for 'Putting the Blame on Women'

    Shortly after Harvey Weinstein accuser Miriam Haley took the stand and testified that she was sexually assaulted by the fallen movie mogul over a decade ago, her attorney Gloria Allred ripped apart Weinstein’s defense team, speaking to press outside of the courthouse. During the six-hour testimony, Haley told the jury that Weinstein forcibly performed oral [...]

  • Desus Nice, The Kid Mero. Desus

    'Desus and Mero' Duo to Receive Bronx Cheer at Museum Gala

    Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez, the pair better known as Desus and Mero, are set to receive a hometown salute on March 2 when they will be honored along with others by the Bronx Museum. The hosts of the Showtime late-nighter “Desus and Mero” will be included as part of the museum’s Visionary Duos gala [...]

  • Lewis Capaldi

    Lewis Capaldi Signs Rights Deal With Kobalt

    Kobalt today announced that it has signed Lewis Capaldi to an international neighboring rights deal. The Capitol recording artist was previously represented by PPL for international collections. Ann Tausis, CEO of Kobalt Neighboring Rights, commented on the deal, “Lewis’s ascent to the top has been breathtaking. His emotive songs and charming social media presence have [...]

  • Boris Johnson Grants China's Huawei Limited

    UK Grants China's Huawei Limited Role in 5G Network, Despite Security Concerns

    The British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, decided Tuesday to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build parts of the country’s 5G network, in defiance of U.S. concerns over national security risks and the potential for Chinese espionage. The U.K.’s National Security Council green-lit the move to go ahead with “high risk vendor” [...]

  • Village Roadshow Studios Queensland

    Australia’s Village Roadshow Receives Second Takeover Bid

    Australian studios, cinemas and theme parks group Village Roadshow Limited has received a tentative takeover bid from private equity firm BGH. The bid follows a December offer from another funds group, Pacific Equity Partners. The earlier offer valued VRL at A$3.90 per share. BGL’s proposal is for a bid worth A$4 per share, payable in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content