David Geffen, one of the smartest and richest men on the planet, was roundly criticised by the world press for posting an image of himself self-isolating on his 138-metre-long luxury yacht, the Rising Sun, as it cruised the tropical waters in the Grenadines.
Geffen who founded Geffen Records and DreamWorks, may have been trying to relate to his more than 84,000 Instagram followers during this time of uncertainty but was clearly not on point, and certainly off-piste.
On Twitter, Meghan McCain, the well-known host of “The View” and daughter of deceased U.S. Sen. John McCain, expressed her outrage to Geffen’s photos with a scathing post of her own. She was not a happy bunny
“David Geffen is worth 8 billion dollars!. For God’s sake help, this country get ventilators, our health workers masks and the medical supplies they need! Or no, just stay on your f–king yacht Instagramming, This is just shameful and grotesque. “
Others joined the protests at the insensitivity of the post. Even those who acknowledge that Geffen has worked hard for his money are drawing the line at the clumsiness of the message. People are dying, have lost jobs and are going hungry. If self-isolation on a superyacht is your thing, now’s not the time to brag.
Geffen himself seems to have realized that this was not of his finest moments and has turned his Instagram private. It did smack of what the Italians called menefrighismo, I could not give a shit about anyone else. Hence the outrage.
The Superyacht News, however, rose to the billionaire’s defence in an article marinated in obsequience, with the title Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. The gist was that the billionaires with superyachts pay your bills and do a lot of good things. The industry is doing a lot already, such as Sunseeker that donated 400 masks and 4000 gloves to a local hospital. Guys- they got through them in a morning. Sure it is good of Abromovitch to allow NHS workers to stay at his Millenium hotel and it’s appreciated. But the idea that we can’t tick off our billionaires when they act like insensitive idiots is going on feudal. What next? Schreibtischtäters on demand?
This was after their post/op-ed entitled Chairman of the Bored in which the author expressed his sense of ennui at this virus. How boring. A common virus. How plebian.
The Superyacht Report is the industry’s premier media protagonist and very much shapes the direction of travel that the industry takes. But I am going to protest too much, and its on a theme that we at Yachtmondo have been banging on about for a long time. And that is the extent of deference that suppliers are expected to show towards the owners and also to their yacht managers. When the industry was awash with money, deference and obsequience (aka kissing arse) was fine, as it came with a price. Now, however, many suppliers are being increasingly asked to provide a red ribbon, white-glove, Downtown Abbey service while being squeezed on prices. It is like you should express gratitude for the privilege of being allowed to enter into the sacred grotto.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, my arse. We don’t do obsequience here at Yachtmondo. Well, not unless you pay us, and then we will bite your hand off to get some of your cash. Jump? How high?