Billionaire David Geffen is taking the heat on social media after he took to Instagram to send well-wishes to his followers that many are slamming as “tone-deaf.”
Geffen sparked an uproar after he messaged his Instagram followers that he was escaping from the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country on his private luxury yacht, the Rising Sun, cruising on the Caribbean Sea to the Grenadines.
Geffen bragged about being “isolated in Grenadines” to avoid coronavirus
Geffen, 77, took to Instagram on Saturday morning to post images of his $590 million luxury yacht, the Rising Sun, cruising on the Caribbean Sea. He also posted an image of the yacht’s main deck.
Intending to send well-wishes to his social media followers, he captioned the photos:
“Sunset, last night, …isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I’m hoping everybody is staying safe.”
Geffen’s post sparked a swift backlash on social media
Geffen’s Instagram post generated a swift backlash on social media.
Many people slammed the billionaire for a “tone deaf” social media post. A number of commenters felt Geffen’s post insensitively flaunted his wealth during a time when millions of Americans are struggling to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
During the pandemic, many people have dealt with employment woes and fears of being exposed to infection. A significant number of people have fallen sick, or worse, lost their lives.
Geffen responded to the backlash by making his Instagram private
Although Geffen made his Instagram private after his post started generating negative reactions, the backlash continued on Twitter.
Some Twitter users reacted with sarcastic retorts. Several others suggested that he would do better to make a large donation to help medical staff in the frontlines of the fight to stop the spread of the disease.
Several public figures, including Meghan McCain and the New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali, also reacted to Geffen’s Instagram post on Twitter.
“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 fucking yacht instagramming. This is just shameful and grotesque.”
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 fucking yacht instagramming. This is just shameful and grotesque. https://t.co/iZ0e5VKLDM
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 28, 2020
David Geffen could have donated that yacht to NYC to be used as a makeshift hospital.
— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) March 28, 2020
David Geffen sends a message:
— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) March 28, 2020
But others came to Geffen’s defense
Amid the uproar, some defended Geffen, pointing out that he was a noted philanthropist who has given millions to charities. According to the Guardian, the David Geffen Foundation has given millions of dollars to medical institutions and groups that help the homeless.
TMZ suggested that he could have avoided the backlash if he’d remembered that his Instagram posts were accessible to thousands of less-wealthy Americans and not only his wealthy friends.
Geffen is the multibillionaire founder of Asylum Records, DGC Records, and Geffen Records, as well as the co-founder of DreamWorks. He is worth $7.7 billion, according to Forbes.
Geffen was the owner of the Beverly Hills mansion, known as the Warner Estate, that billionaire Jeff Bezos recently purchased at a record-setting price of $165 million.