In what may be a move to soften the impact of his unflattering portrayal in The Social Network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced he would donate $100 million to Newark's troubled schools on the same day as The Social Network's premiere.
The platform that Zuckerberg has chosen to use to announce his $100 million gift is "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The segment will be televised on Friday, the same day that "The Social Network" will premiere at the New York Film Festival.
According to Yahoo! News, "The 26-year-old hasn't engaged in much high-profile philanthropy so far -- unlike fellow tech billionaire and education reformer Bill Gates -- which makes his Oprah appearance and $100 million gift more notable."
The New York Times broke the story on September 22 and stated, "The officials who spoke about the plan did so on the condition of anonymity because it was two days before the scheduled announcement."
The article notes that Zuckerberg will be joined by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker in making the announcement on Oprah's show.
Clues as to why this donation is being announced on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" are provided. Winfrey has been one of Mayor Booker's strongest supporters in his efforts to raise money for Newark. Winfrey "has given millions of dollars to schools and other organizations in Newark over the last few years."
Similarly, the article describes how the relationship between Zuckerberg and Mayor Booker was forged, noting that in July Zuckerberg "and Mr. Booker met at a conference and began a continuing conversation about the mayor’s plans for the city."
As part of the terms for the $100 million donation, Gov. Christie has agreed to "cede some control of the state-run system to" Mayor Booker and "The $100 million for Newark is the initial gift to start a foundation for education financed by Mr. Zuckerberg."
"The Social Network' will be screened on opening night, September 24, of The 48th New York Film Festival. NYFF10 states that "Jesse Eisenberg turns in a mesmerizing performance as the genius but socially maladroit CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose flash of social-networking inspiration occurs during a drunken act of internet revenge on an ex-girlfriend" and concludes, "Much more than a ripped-from-the-headlines docudrama, The Social Network is a timeless study of unchecked ambition, status and privilege in America, and those other, more precious things money can’t buy."
A September 21 report in DigitalJournal.com provides information on Mark Zuckerberg, "the youngest billionaire in the history of billionaires," his reaction to "The Social Network" movie, and the movie itself. The article notes Zuckerberg's less than flattering portrayel which may have factored into his decision to engage in "high-profile philanthropy" the very day that "The Social Network" will be premiered in New York City.