Updated: After disinvitation from Princeton E-Club, Martin Shkreli makes bold statements in Princeton meme Facebook group
“Pharma bro” trolled UC Berkeley students two weeks ago
UPDATE: a moderator stated that Shkreli had been banned from the Facebook group.
After being disinvited by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club from a talk in January, Martin Shkreli, hedge-fund manager known for raising the price of an anti-parasitic drug by a factor of 56, stirred up the conversation in a newly created Princeton University meme group on Facebook.
In an interview with The Tab, Shkreli said that his posts were not made in response to his dis-invitation in January and that his actions were not unique to Princeton. After he was added by a group moderator, he immediately set his eyes on entertaining the 1000-strong member group, he said.
“When I show up at any place the first thing I think to myself is ‘how to stunt’,” he said.
He further explained that he had been invited by students at other universities to make memes, and stated that he was made an admin of the UC Berkeley meme page.
Shkreli’s posts only appeared for minutes before they were taken down by a group admin. According to Shannon Chen, a freshman and the primary moderator for the group, several other admins began deleting Shkreli’s posts after finding them insensitive. Though Chen did not get to read the posts Shkreli had made before they were deleted, she had already gotten a load of messages from members in the group denouncing the posts, one of whom asked her to ban Shkreli from the Facebook community entirely. Others, however, are rather distraught the Shkreli’s posts have been removed and expressed that they’d like to see more of his presence.
“The reactions were honestly very mixed,” Chen said. She also noted that Shkreli had been removed from the group last night.
Shkreli seemed to take no offense after being removed, however, citing that he has a job and can’t entertain his “fans non-stop.”
“If I’m invited, I’m happy to stunt and show off and entertain my fans and it’d be nice if some over sensitive and over privileged idiot didn’t stop me,” Shkreli said, “I dont really think too hard about people other than Martin Shkreli so whatever their decision is I don’t really dwell,” he added.
He further explained that he received had received better responses from students at Harvard. Shkreli boasted having become friends with over 50 Harvard students after becoming a member on Harvard’s meme page.
Jaspreet Kalsi, a freshman, stated that he agreed with the moderator’s decision. In addition to the argument of the moderators having the right to patrol their own Facebook page, Jaspreet further noted that Shkreli was actively harassing members of the University community. After Shkreli’s appearance on the meme group, he allegedly posted a status on his own page targeting a Princeton graduate.
Michael, a freshman in the group who saw Shkreli’s comments, stated that he found Shkreli’s “absurd” statements rather amusing and disagreed with the moderator’s decision.
“I think it’s absurd that the mods removed the comments because I don’t think “inappropriate” and “meme” really go together in the same sentence,” he said.
The freshman further thought that the event demonstrated the “absurdity” of Princeton’s political-correctness. He noted that a few weeks back at UC Berkeley, one of the most liberal schools in the country, Shkreli made similar statements in their meme group after being disinvited. The students of Berkeley embraced Shkreli fully there on the page, he said.
“I think people at Princeton need to chill out basically,” he said.
In January, the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club disinvited Shkreli after strong reactions from students the day that the event was announced. Shkreli had by that point, obtained legal permits to travel to Princeton specifically for the event. E-Club issued a statement regarding the incident.
“However, from his recent acts of sexual harassment and atrocious comments on Twitter, and his subsequent suspension from the platform this week, he has definitively shown he is lacking in character and not the type of person E-Club wants to bring to speak or be associated with our organization.” – Princeton E-Club.
Shkreli told The Tab that he was not particularly upset about the disinvitation.
“It’s a shame it was cancelled, but easier for me, these college trips are a pain in the butt and I don’t get paid,” he said. Shkreli did give remarks at Harvard University. He said that he recalled around 10 protestors who showed up to the event. That did not prevent him from receiving a standing ovation, he said.