People really dislike Martin Shkreli.
We can think of a few reasons. The main one might be that time he jacked up the price of anti-AIDS drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent just because he could. There’s also the time he was arrested on charges of securities and wire fraud. He’s also got an extremely punchable face.
There is perhaps one thing that many people cannot forgive the Pharma Bro for over everything else and that’s buying the exclusive rights to Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album and not letting anyone hear it. They almost couldn’t fill a jury box with people who didn’t hate him because of that (they eventually did and he was found guilty of fraud).
Of course, because he is who he is, Shkreli is also being a bit of a dick about it. Despite the fact that bidding has already risen to $200,100 with nine days to go, he notes in the item description that he might just cancel the listing at any point. In fact, he even goes as far as to say he might just destroy the album instead.
At any time I may cancel this sale and I may even break this album in frustration. I will donate half of the sale proceeds to medical research. I am not selling to raise cash–my companies and I have record amounts of cash on hand. I hope someone with a bigger heart for music can be found for this one-of-a-kind piece and makes it available for the world to hear.
Shkreli can’t help himself from talking about how much money he has and what a great patron of the arts he is (“I have donated to many rock bands and rappers over the years to ensure they can continue to produce their art when few others would.”). Whatever goodwill might be involved in this potential auction, the Pharma Bro unconsciously (or very consciously) ensures that no one will feel any remorse for him either way.
If he actually does sell the album (we’ll believe it when we see it), the collector’s item comes with a hand-carved box and a leather-bound book filled with lyrics and background on the songs.