Risking Ethics Violation, Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin Promotes 'Lego Batman Movie'
The co-founder of RatPac Dune urged parents to send their kids to the movie, on which he served as an executive producer.
If Warner Bros’ The Lego Batman Movie, now in its seventh weekend of release, gets a bump at the box office this weekend, credit Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, who publicly endorsed the film on Friday.
Speaking at a forum organized by new-media startup Axios, where he was interviewed by the site’s co-founder Mike Allen, Mnuchin, the former hedge fund manager who co-founded RatPac Dune Entertainment in 2004, was asked about movies in which he had been involved as the event was drawing to a close.
Admitting that he could run afoul of federal ethics laws, when asked what current movies he’d recommend, Mnuchin answered, “I’m not allowed to promote anything that I’m involved in. So I just want to have the legal disclosure, you’ve asked me the question, and I am not promoting any product. But you should send all your kids to Lego Batman.”
Mnuchin has an executive producer credit on the film, which was produced in association with RatPac Dune, and which has grossed $288.6 million worldwide since its Feb. 10 release.
As reported by MarketWatch, Mnuchin declared that his favorite movie of all time was Avatar, in which his Dune Entertainment invested, pronouncing it, “Largest. Grossing. Film. Ever.”
He did offer thumbs-down on a couple of other movies, though, claiming that both The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short, which took critical shots at Wall Street were “misrepresentations.”
Critics immediately pounced on Mnuchin’s Lego Batman recommendation, noting that RatPac receives income from the film and Mnuchin may not yet be fully divested of the company, which he has promised to do within 120 days of his Feb. 13 confirmation.