Online Soap Opera Starring Billy Dee Williams Received Stimulus Cash
We were told that the 2009 stimulus bill would direct money to areas of the economy in need of assistance, what we weren’t told is that this included crappy online soap operas:
You may not have seen the show “Diary of a Single Mom” co-starring Billy Dee Williams, but your tax dollars helped pay for it.
Through the federal economic stimulus program, a company owned by actor-director Robert Townsend was paid more than $230,000 to produce and direct the Web-based show, records show. Other production costs on the show paid to different vendors total more than $700,000.
The money came through an award by the Department of Commerce to One Economy Corp. for more than $28 million last year to help boost broadband Internet service in underserved areas across the country.
One Economy is using more than $1.5 million of that money to create programming such as “Diary of a Single Mom,” which the group says will help provide an incentive for people to connect to the Internet.
But taxpayer watchdogs say the government doesn’t belong in show business.
“The point of broadband was to create access and create the infrastructure for communities that do not have access,” said Ryan Alexander, president of the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense. “Creating content wouldn’t be what people in Congress thought of when voting on this
Considering that neither Billy Dee Williams nor Robert Townsend are what you could call struggling artists, I’m not quite sure how nonsense like this is justified. It’s not a large amount of money, but I’m struggling to wonder which critical jobs were “created or saved” by this one.
H/T: Virginia Virtucon