Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
Take a look . . .
Yes ladies and gentlemen, over the last 24 hours or so, this “Brantley Gilbert Makes $10.5 Million Donation to Toys For Tots” headline has been circulating like a bad venereal disease passed around after the drunken office Christmas party, spreading all across the complicit landscape of country music media without anyone questioning the accuracy or legitimacy of the claim that Brantley Gilbert and his big bag of nothing pulled out his stupid motorcycle wallet attached to 17 wallet chains, fished out $10.5 big ones, and gave them to Toys For Tots without any strings attached.
Well, of course it’s not true. It’s not even close to true. And the fact that so many outlets parroted the exact headline that Brantley Gilbert’s peeps sent to the media in a press release is just another sign why American journalism is going to complete and utter shit.
Let me explain something to you for a second. What is Brantley Gilbert’s net worth? How much money does he have on this planet? Well a very simple Google search comes up with the estimate of $10 million dollars, last calculated on October 30th, 2015.
Not bad, huh? Ol’ Brantley has done quite well for himself, especially with all those early songwriting royalties; “Dirt Road Anthem” and such. But do we really expect that Brantley Gilbert is going to make a donation to Toys For Tots so huge it will completely wipe out his entire net worth, and he’ll have to go in arrears half a mil just to make it happen? These headlines are total and utter dog shit. It’s a complete blindsiding of the American country music consumer, hoping they’re too stupid to question what exactly is going on here because it plays right into their warm and fuzzy feeling that their favorite country stars are these altruistic angels, when in truth they’re lying to the public on a regular basis.
Did Brantley Gilbert make a donation to Toys For Tots? Yes he did. How much was it? We don’t know, but if it was anywhere north of $500,000, or 5% of what these headlines claim, I’ll eat my hat. I remember when Taylor Swift made a $4 million donation to the Country Music Hall of Fame, and how the size of it left all of our mouths agape. And we’re led to believe that Brantley Gilbert, Brantley Gilbert made a donation nearly 3 times this size to Toys For Tots? This would be one of the biggest celebrity donations in history.
So what is really behind this massive, “$10.5 million” donation to Toys For Tots? I’ll tell you what. There’s a children’s book company called Bendon Inc., okay? And every year, just like many large companies have to do, they needed to move dead or slow-moving stock before the end of the year or they would be forced to pay taxes on it. So they offloaded $10.5 million in retail-priced dead or slow-moving inventory to Toys For Tots, and partnered with Brantley Gilbert so they would have a celebrity name to catch headlines as part of the ruse, and meanwhile both Brantley Gilbert and Bendon Inc. can use the expenditure as a tax write-off, and end up saving just as much money as they’re giving, while using the entire operation as a publicity stunt.
At no point did $10.5 million freaking dollars change hands, unlike what every single headline above and many more across the country music internet say. There may have not even been $1 million dollars that changed hands at any point. This was Bendon Inc. wanting to free up some warehouse space. And as for that “$10.5 million” valuation? You remember back to elementary school, or perhaps when your elementary-aged kids today tell you they have a “book carnival” or “book festival” at school, and shake you down for Benjamins before hopping on the bus? Have you seen the completely bloated sticker price on the back of those books when they bring them home? Many of these children’s books companies use public, governmental, not-for-profit institutions as revenue beds for their for-profit schemes.
Hey, hell of a job by Bendon Inc. and Brantley Gilbert for taking excess inventory and giving it to kids in need. I understand that in the end maybe they were just trying to do something good. And make no mistake, reading is probably something that a lot of Brantley Gilbert fans, and their kids could benefit from, especially after seeing how these headlines were splashed across the internet without anyone questioning their validity. But celebrity donations these days are becoming nothing more that public sentiment shields, publicity vehicles, and tax shelters, and since the entirety of traditional media has been replaced by bad Buzzfeed knockoffs and interns, bad headlines like “Brantley Gilbert Makes $10.5 Million Donation to Toys For Tots” can spread across the internet unabated.
Good on Bendon Inc. and Brantley Gilbert for donating to Toys For Tots. But don’t screw it all up by jerking the public off to grab some misleading Holiday headlines.