“Fortune favors the brave,” an almost zombie-like Matt Damon tells us before looking out into a computer-generated version of outer space with a red-ish orb. No, the actor isn’t encouraging us to explore more of space or protect our planet from turning into a giant ball of fire but to invest in cryptocurrency, the truest act of bravery.
In a Crypto.com advertisement from last October that’s currently making the rounds on social media, the Oscar winner is one of the many celebrities, from Kim Kardashian to Tom Brady to Busta Rhymes, encouraging the general public to spend their dollars in the precarious, unregulated market that largely seems to help rich people get richer. The minute-long video shows Damon walking past 3-D images of a sailor, a mountain climber, what looks to be one of the Wright Brothers operating an airplane, a group of astronauts and a hip, young couple while lamenting history’s “almosts” and praising “the ones who embrace the moment and commit.”
The rest of his overwrought, thoroughly corporate-sounding monologue goes, “In these moments of truth, these men and women, these mere mortals, just like you and me, as they peer over the edge, they calm their minds and steel their nerves with four simple words that have been whispered by the intrepid since the time of the Romans: Fortune favors the brave.”
Celebrities famously love telling us where to put our money, whether they’re promoting their own products, starring in commercials for Pepsi or selling detox teas on Instagram. So it’s no surprise that actors, musicians and influencers alike are being paid handsomely to endorse whatever phony avenues of money and fake assets they can get their hands on and convince us to waste. However, few have implemented such galaxy-brain arguments as comparing the expansion of science and traversing unexplored portions of the Earth to putting your life savings into Bitcoin during a financial recession, all the while implying that life is a meritocracy that economically rewards people based on the size of their balls.
Of course, like most things that have come out of The Last Duel star’s mouth in recent years, Twitter couldn’t resist ripping this bombastic script to shreds.
“Saddest thing about Matt Damon’s macho-baiting crypto pitch where the viewer must ACT NOW or he’s a weak pussy is that this is a top 3 classic pitch all financial schemes have used to goad men into forking over their paltry savings,” tweeted journalist Adam H. Johnson. “Nothing has changed in 150 years.”
“The most crypto thing ever is the new Matt Damon commercial where they compare themselves to Galileo and Sir Edmund Hillary despite just being a bunch of digital con artists,” tweeted another.
Some even pointed out the irony in Damon romanticizing a bold, new future after proudly admitting that he recently stopped using the word f****t after his daughter had to write him a treatise explaining why it was offensive. Likewise, this Crypto ad is just one more thing on a list of PR missteps that have made Damon subject to online ridicule over the past decade.
Around the premiere of the financially and critically successful 2015 film The Martian, you may remember the actor getting into trouble over a comment he made to producer Effie Brown on the HBO reality show Project Greenlight in which he said he didn’t want the filmmaking competition to consider diversity, only “merit.” A couple years later, he would dig himself into an even deeper hole during the rise of the #MeToo when he admitted to knowing about his previous collaborator Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of his The Talented Mr. Ripley co-star Gwyneth Paltrow. He also asserted, like many men shaken by the idea of consequences in 2017, that sexual-abuse allegations should be evaluated on a “spectrum,” using comedian Louis C.K. as an example of predatory behavior that shouldn’t be punished as harshly.
In light of these moments and his most recent F-word scandal, Damon has had a hard time shedding the “straight, white dude from Massachusetts” persona that has made him such an obvious figure to deride during the Trump era, and maybe the worst person to convert non-believers to crypto.
Meanwhile, the internet can’t get enough of Keanu Reeves laughing at the concept of NFTs during an interview for The Matrix: Resurrections. Additionally, The O.C. heartthrob Ben Mackenzie has also been vocal about the responsibility famous people have when promoting cryptocurrencies to their unknowledgeable legions of fans.
Damon should take some notes.