BLM co-founder quietly dumped from Warner Bros after she produced ZERO content after two years
Written by patriciavallard on May 27, 2023
By Alyssa Guzman and Harriet Alexander For Dailymail.com
01:50 27 May 2023, updated 02:36 27 May 2023
- Patrisse Cullors, 39, signed a deal with Warner Bros in 2020 but it ended in October 2022
- A source said: ‘The deal, unfortunately, did not result in any produced shows’
- Cullors had claimed she was working on various projects, including two documentaries
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has been quietly let go from her Warner Bros TV deal after producing no content.
Cullors, 39, signed the deal with the media giant in 2020 to much fanfare but it ended in secret in October 2022, it emerged on Friday.
‘The deal, unfortunately, did not result in any produced shows,’ a source told the New York Post.
Cullors claimed in January 2022 that she was working on a documentary about how reparations were similar to the idea of landback, where Native Americans got back their lands, and another about black social mobility.
She also reportedly had scripted series about marijuana and black women leaders, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
‘Black voices, especially Black voices who have been historically marginalized, are important and integral to today’s storytelling,’ she said.
‘Our perspective and amplification is necessary and vital to helping shape a new narrative for our families and communities. I am committed to uplifting these stories in my new creative role with the Warner Bros. family.
‘As a long-time community organizer and social justice activist, I believe that my work behind the camera will be an extension of the work I’ve been doing for the last twenty years. I look forward to amplifying the talent and voices of other Black creatives through my work.’
The multi-platform deal was made to produce shows across the company’s multiple revenue streams, including animated, children’s content, scripted and unscripted shows.
The value of the deal was not disclosed.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Cullors for comment. Warner Bros declined to comment.
The BLM activist posted a message on Instagram just days ago accusing the media of ‘lying’ about her.
‘For the last 2.5 years I’ve been relentlessly attacked by the media. So many lies and so much mis and disinformation. They are hell bent on destroying my life,’ she wrote. ‘Even though I’ve not been at BLM since 2021 my face continues to be used to spread so many untruths. I’m exhausted and I fear for my life daily. The worst is so many people have just stayed silent.
‘Many haven’t and I’m grateful for those who have helped combat the dangerous lies. But y’all. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.’
Cullors became a co-founder of BLM in 2013 before stepping down in 2021. The movement started in courtyard of her Los Angeles home a decade ago.
Now, Black Lives Matter’s national organization is at risk of going bankrupt after its finances plunged $8.5million into the red last year – while simultaneously handing multiple staff seven-figure salaries.
Financial disclosures obtained by The Washington Free Beacon show the perilous state of BLM’s Global Network Foundation, which officially emerged in November 2020, as a more formal way of structuring the civil rights movement.
Yet, despite the financial controversy and scrutiny, BLM GNF continued to hire relatives of Cullors, and several board members.
Cullors’ brother, Paul Cullors, set up two companies which were paid $1.6million providing ‘professional security services’ for Black Lives Matter in 2022.
Paul was also one of BLM’s only two paid employees during the year, collecting a $126,000 salary as ‘head of security’ on top of his consulting fees. He is best known as a graffiti artist, with no background in security.
Cullors defended hiring him, saying registered security firms which hired former police officers could not be trusted, given the movement’s opposition to police brutality.
For the previous year, 2021, tax filings revealed that BLM paid a company owned by Damon Turner, the father of Cullors’ child, nearly $970,000 to help ‘produce live events’ and provide other ‘creative services.’
‘While Patrisse Cullors was forced to resign due to charges of using BLM’s funds for her personal use, it looks like she’s still keeping it all in the family,’ said Paul Kamenar, an attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center watchdog group.
A consulting firm run by BLM board member Shalomyah Bowers was paid $2.1million for providing the organization with operational support Bowers said the last BLM board approved the contract with his firm when he was not a board member.
The filing also revealed that Cullors reimbursed BLM $73,000 for a charter flight and paid the foundation $390 for private use of its $6million Los Angeles mansion.
Bowers, who took over from Cullors when she resigned, also benefitted handsomely from the group: in 2022, his consultancy firm was paid $1.7million for management and consulting services, the Free Beacon reported.
And the sister of former Black Lives Matter board member Raymond Howard was also employed in a lucrative role as a consultant.
Danielle Edwards’s firm, New Impact Partners, was paid $1.1million for consulting services in 2022, the Free Beacon said.
BLM GNF also agreed to pay an additional $600,000 to an unidentified former board member’s consulting firm ‘in connection with a contract dispute’.
The non-profit group ran an $8.5million deficit, and its investment accounts fell in value by nearly $10million in the most recent tax year, financial disclosures show.
The group logged a $961,000 loss on a securities sale of $172,000, suggesting the group sustained an 85 percent loss on the transaction. Further details of that security have not been shared.
And the cash flowing into BLM’s coffers has dropped dramatically.
Donations plunged by 88 percent between 2021 and 2022, from $77million to just $9.3million for the most recent financial year.
A year later, in May 2022, it was revealed Black Lives Matter spent more than $12million on luxury properties in Los Angeles and in Toronto – including a $6.3million 10,000-square-foot property in Canada that was purchased as part of a $8million ‘out of country grant.’
The Toronto property was bought with grant money that was meant for ‘activities to educate and support black communities, and to purchase and renovate property for charitable use.’
The group had said it was planning to use the property as main headquarters in Canada, and it has now been named the Wilseed Center for Arts and Activism.
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