MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, announced Tuesday that she is donating another $2.7 billion—but she’d very much prefer if no one mentioned how very rich she is.
In her Medium post, Scott, who is worth nearly $60 billion (sorry, MacKenzie!), also didn’t address the criticism that she and Bezos have faced for avoiding federal income tax in some years past.
“Sitting down to write this post, I felt stuck. I want to de-emphasize privileged voices and cede focus to others, yet I know some media stories will focus on wealth,” Scott wrote.
“People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating. This is equally—perhaps especially—true when their work is funded by wealth. Any wealth is a product of a collective effort that included them. The social structures that inflate wealth present obstacles to them. And despite those obstacles, they are providing solutions that benefit us all.
“Putting large donors at the center of stories on social progress is a distortion of their role.”
She detailed the 286 “high-impact organizations” working in areas and communities that have been “historically underfunded and overlooked” that will share the latest tranche of donations.
Scott, who split from Bezos in 2019 and got 4 percent of Amazon shares in her divorce settlement, has pledged to donate at least half her money to charity. Forbes estimates that she gave away almost $6 billion in her two previous donation rounds.
But that largesse has been overshadowed by a ProPublica investigation of how little taxes some billionaires pay that revealed Bezos and Scott, who filed jointly, paid no federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011 through the liberal use of deductions.
Bezos has not commented on the explosive report—and in her Medium post, neither does Scott. A spokesperson for Amazon, which still issues statements on behalf of Scott, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some inequality experts have praised Scott for the size and pace of her giving. Chuck Collins, a senior scholar for the Institute of Policy Studies, wrote in December that she is “putting to shame the other 650 U.S. billionaires who haven’t figure out comparable ways to boldly share.”