Larry David has expressed regret over appearing in a Super Bowl advert for the former cryptocurrency exchange FTX, whose founder Sam Bankman-Fried was last year found guilty of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
The commercial, which aired during the 2022 Super Bowl, saw the Curb Your Enthusiasm star appear in a series of historical scenes dismissing various inventions including the wheel, the fork, coffee, the lightbulb and space travel.
The advert concluded with David being presented with FTX as “a safe and easy way to get into crypto”. David responds in the ad: “Eh, I don’t think so. And I’m never wrong about this stuff. Never!”
In 2022, a proposed class action lawsuit was filed in Florida accusing David, Bankman-Fried and other FTX celebrity backers including NFL quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen of defrauding investors who lost money when the cryptocurrency exchange collapsed.
Speaking to The Associated Press at the premiere for the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, David admitted he hadn’t really understood what he was getting involved in.
“You know, I asked people, friends of mine who were well-versed in this stuff, ‘Should I do this ad? Is there anything wrong with this, me doing this? Is this okay?’” said David.
“And they said ‘Yeah, this is totally on the up and up. Yeah. It’s fine. Do it.’ So, like an idiot, I did it.”
In regard to the class action lawsuit, David added that he “would love to be part of [it], ‘cause part of my salary was in crypto, so I lost a lot of money”.
In court papers filed in April 2023, David and the other celebrities named in the suit asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing that they did not cause the investors’ losses.
At the time the advert first aired, The Independent questioned David’s choice to appear in the commercial, asking: “Why the hell is comedy genius Larry David flogging Cryptocurrency?”
David recently announced that the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm would mark the end of his long-running and much loved comedy series.
In a statement, he said: “As Curb comes to an end, I will now have the opportunity to finally shed this ‘Larry David’ persona and become the person God intended me to be – the thoughtful, kind, caring, considerate human being I was until I got derailed by portraying this malignant character.
“And so ‘Larry David,’ I bid you farewell. Your misanthropy will not be missed. And for those of you who would like to get in touch with me, you can reach me at Doctors Without Borders.”