Embattled Black Lives Matter activist and New York Daily News columnist Shaun King is under fire again, this time after he reportedly sought to charge an undercover reporter $7,500 for a speaking gig at a gender conference despite publicly claiming he does not take money for such events.
According to Breitbart News, an undercover reporter posing as an event organizer contacted King about speaking at a gender conference called “Thinking Gender 2016.” King put the undercover reporter in touch with his speaking agency, The Lavin Agency, and an agent there said that the speaking fee would run $7,500, plus travel and accommodations, Breitbart reported.
But King, who rose to national attention after the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, has publicly said that he does not charge for speaking engagements to address “police brutality or American injustice.”
King made that claim in an essay he published on the website Medium.com earlier this month after The Daily Caller published a report showing that he has made false claims about charities he’s claimed to have started. (RELATED: Charities Touted By Black Lives Matter Activist Shaun King Appear To Have Never Existed)
A popular new trope among conservatives is that Shaun is “getting rich” off of speaking fees at conferences, colleges, and universities. This is a complete lie. Since Mike Brown was murdered on August 9th, 2014 until today, November 19th, 2015, Shaun has turned down every single offer to be paid to speak publicly about police brutality or American injustice. This was Shaun’s attempt to go above and beyond reproach with these issues.
When Breitbart asked King why he has hired a speaker’s bureau if he doesn’t charge for speaking engagements, one of his staffers responded: “Shaun has not been paid for a single speaking engagement since the murder of Mike Brown.”
It is unclear when King changed his policy pertaining to speaking engagements. But King’s Medium.com article has been edited in recent days — seemingly after Breitbart contacted him — to disclose that he is being represented by the Lavin Agency.
“Moving forward, Shaun will be represented by the Lavin Agency and all of his speaking engagements will be managed by them,” the updated blog post reads.
In the essay, King included a list of speeches at colleges and universities he says he gave for free. The purpose of the revelation was to push back against accusations from some of his fellow activists that he was possibly stealing from charities he was operating.
King’s fellow activists began speaking out on social media earlier this month when a King-operating non-profit group, Justice Together, failed to release its first preliminary report on time. King suddenly shut down the organization, effectively shredding all of the work that volunteers had done since June and squandering money given by donors.
Some activists saw a pattern. They said that King did the same thing last year with a group called Justice That’s All. Except in that case, King solicited donations he said would go towards filing the organization as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with the IRS. But as TheDC found, King never registered the organization with the IRS. He also did not register it with any states before accepting donations.
King returned donations given to both organizations after TheDC released its report.