Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton collectively decided to confuse the audience of The Tonight Show on Monday, when they had a very cringey conversation about NFTs that led to Hilton gifting the audience NFTs, which clearly nobody wanted or asked for. Now, it looks like Fallon could actually be in trouble for trying to pump his NFT on viewers.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Fallon likely paid nearly $216,000 (!!!) for the cartoon ape in a striped shirt, and hyping up said ape could boost its price higher, effectively making Jimmy Fallon richer if he choses to sell the NFT later on. This is obviously a problem!
Comcast, NBC’s parent company, has a workplace policy which instructs NBC employees to “not let outside interests or activities interfere with [their] business judgment or responsibilities to the company.” With Fallon pushing his monkey doodles, it may be considered a conflict of interest. NBC also states that employees must “disclose and obtain approval for all outside work, financial interests and other personal activities/relationships that may create or appear to create a conflict,” and that employees should not “use company info, resources, time, etc. for personal benefit,” as stated in the NBCUniversial gifts, conflicts and corruption policy.
If Fallon’s NFT did rise in value, this could be a conflict of interest. An NBC spokesperson insisted that Fallon did not violate the company’s conflict of interest policy, since hosts are able to promote outside projects such as books and movies. But projects and investments aren’t necessarily the same thing, and there seems to be a gray area with NFTs as they become “normalized” among celebrities, despite it being a risky endeavor for everyone who isn’t already a millionaire.