The Dark Side of the Power of Social Media: How Ryan Kavanaugh Learned lessons from his rise and fall.

February 15, 2022 0 Comments

In the world of business, social media has been both a blessing and a curse for Ryan Kavanaugh. On the one hand, it allowed him to build his company, Relativity Media, into a Hollywood powerhouse. On the other hand, it was his undoing.

The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which lifted many campaign finance restrictions, allowed Relativity Media to get into the business of funding films. In a 2011 interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Kavanaugh explained how Relativity was able to use the new rules to its advantage.

Since 2010, Relativity Media used its website and Facebook page to promote its films. Soon, the company became one of the largest financiers of movies in Hollywood. By 2011, Ryan Kavanaugh said he wanted his company to be as well known as Starbucks (SBUX), Nike (NKE) and Apple (AAPL).

“We’re one of the most powerful marketing machines out there,” Kavanaugh told The Hollywood Reporter. “Putting our name on a movie is like saying ‘buy me.’ It’s that simple.” Ryan Kavanaugh had his own Twitter account and was known for tweeting his favorite lines from movies with the hashtag #ShareTheSecret.

But social media was more than just a way to promote Kavanaugh’s business ventures. He used it to meet women, too. At least that is what actress Kirsten Dunst claimed in her 2016 lawsuit against Kavanaugh’s company. According to court documents , she accused Kavanaugh of using social media to contact women that the company had worked with, “in order to induce them into engaging in sexual relations.”

Ryan Kavanaugh has not yet commented on these allegations. His attorney did not immediately respond for comment.

The Golden Age of Relativity Media started to come to an end when Kavanaugh’s bankers demanded more collateral from him. He refused to put up more money, so his lenders forced him out of his company in 2015. Kavanaugh later told the New York Times that he was not bitter about what happened because it made him stronger.