So That Indiegogo Campaign for Katy Perry ‘Left Shark’ Suit Ended Up Going Horribly Wrong
The mako mayhem surrounding the uncoordinated — yet highly endearing — Left Shark dancer from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show reached an all-time high last spring. Within a month of Perry’s performance, an Indiegogo page was created, enabling fans to buy the shark suit and support environmental charities (all proceeds were set to go to organizations like the World Wildlife Fund). Or so that’s what we thought.
Turns out that the 1,285 people who collectively donated $93,067 to the “Halftime Shark Suit” page since March 4th still have not received their blue bodysuit (which ranged in price from $89 to $99) or gotten confirmation that their money has been donated to charities as promised. And the founder, an environmental engineer and self-proclaimed “tree hugger” named David Lam, is taking some serious heat.
The comments section on the Indiegogo page is rife with outrage (though commenters are complaining that many comments have been deleted). They all go something like this, a comment from three months ago:
“Could we please get an update on how the timeline for the shark suits is coming?
And just what’s happening in general. Its just things are starting to seem a little fishy with no updates or anything… (Pun intended)”
And then this, from two days ago:
“I Just got an update from David Lam. I’d say you can’t collect $93,067 from 1285 people and then just say you are too busy to delivery what you promised… Then removing posts that are requesting refunds makes it all seem even more unethical. David, please provide those people who want a refund a mechanism to get it… For me, I intend to stick it out to see if you are a con artist or not… I want to believe you are a good guy who just got over committed… getting harder to believe.”
Lam finally responded:
I will not tolerate you guys trashing the project or myself. If you want to post comments, you are welcome but please be civil.
I’ve since posted a new update and have put this project in the forefront of my priorities. I’m sorry you’re upset but I’m honestly trying my best. If I was trying to do any funny business, I wouldn’t be using my own name.
You guys will be receiving consistent updates going forward because I’m focusing much more time on it from now on.
And then, yesterday, a picture of progress! (Sort of.)
The suit, which sort of looks like a craft project gone wrong, is apparently on its way to completion — though not in time for Shark Week. But it could serve as a lesson to those looking to capitalize on a sudden pop culture phenomenon: Think twice. Your off-the-cuff project might just take off and then, well, you’re left having to make one thousand shark suits. (In fact, Lam copped to this in a comment on the Indiegogo page: “I’m terribly sorry for taking on this charity project that I wasn’t able to handle.”)
In the meantime, those counting on being Left Shark for Halloween costume might want to consider dressing up as land animals.