There IS such a thing as a free lunch, but apparently not a free $300 bucks.
Thumbs up if you love playing with your stacks of cash and making empty promises.
That’s what a group of homeless people in New York City learned when a Chinese millionaire took the concept of Prank It Forward the completely wrong way. The wrong way as in taking out full page ads saying “Hey homeless people I’m going to give you a free lunch and $300!” – and then not doing it.
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Chen Guangbiao took out ads last week claiming he would take New York’s homeless to the swanky Boathouse restaurant in Central Park for a three course meal. This part he delivered on, with the NYC Rescue Mission bussing hundreds of homeless folks in for a fancy pants meal of seared tuna and filet mignon. Sounds delightful!
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Oh I hate when I order the same thing as everyone else at the table.
However, it soon became apparent that this “Mr. Burns” was doing it all for the cameras and wasn’t going to follow through on handing out $300 cash to everyone who came to the lunch. People started to get pissed. They ordered the filet mignon well done, they could see pink! And some also had a problem with being a human prop for a PR stunt by a guy worth a reported 800 million dollars.
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“Reservation for party of 250.” I would hate to split that check.
The eccentric millionaire even serenaded the lunch crowd with a rendition of “We Are The World” – as you can see in the clip above. This might have been part of his plan to force everyone to leave before he had to give them each $300. Here is a longer version of him “practicing” for the performance.
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Guangbiao is the Chinese equivalent of Donald Trump and is known for his crazy publicity stunts and boasting. Take for example his really subtle, actual business card:
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All good “moral leaders” say so on their business cards.
Instead of the $300 handouts, the Chinese recycling tycoon promised to donate $90,000 to The New York City Rescue Mission. So what do you think? Should homeless people be angry at Guangbiao?
Discuss this story and more with Phil Haney @PhilHaney