Earlier this month, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times started asking questions about who owned Village Voice Media, a company that had been sued for running sex trafficking ads.
That’s when he discovered a private equity fund owned by Goldman Sachs had a 16% stake. The bank then frantically began to unload its shares.
“I think what they did was sell it to management for almost for nothing because of their concerns about the public relations hit of owning you know a stake in America’s leading sex trafficking website,” he told CNBC today in an interview.
Kristoff points out that Goldman has one of its managing directors on the board of the company for four years and didn’t try to get the company to behave more responsibly.
“Well, I wish that the company were, frankly, using its stake to try to advocate for change within the company rather than just selling back to management. Likewise, the other private equity investors seem to be trying to sell back to management, which means there isn’t going to be that voice for change. They seem, understandably perhaps, to be very concerned about their own image rather than bringing about change. I would have loved to see them sell their stake to an anti-trafficking organisation,” he said.
Watch the video here.
We think the worst part for Goldman is the chyron at the bottom: GOLDMAN’s TIES TO SEX TRAFFICKING.