Widely reviled YouTuber Logan Paul loves being the center of media controversy. In a baffling new claim made on Philip DeFranco's YouTube channel, Paul is accusing Bad Bunny of exploiting a Puerto Rican tax program.
Why is Logan Paul even getting himself involved in Puerto Rican politics? Because he is exploiting the program. Paul announced in 2021 that he will be moving to the island, citing high taxes as the main reason. The wannabe WWE wrestler purchased a $13 million mansion, joining a massive influx of people jumping ship from California in search of tax-free states. Paul's estimated $45 million net worth would obviously take a hit if he paid a bit more in taxes, so he is entitled to move into a struggling island that is still struggling to repair itself after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
The clip of Paul calling out the rapper is even more confounding. "Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican living in Puerto Rico who is privately taking advantage of the same tax program that he is publicly condemning," he said. DeFranco is rightfully confused and asks, "Is that true?" Paul doubles down, saying, "I know this and I see things like this and it hurts. There are local Puerto Ricans who know about this. I see this music video that has stuck me in the middle of it surround by context that makes me look like a vulture in Puerto Rico. While I love Bad Bunny, I cannot personally support the hypocritical nature of his exploitation."
\u201c\ud83d\udea8EXCLUSIVE- Logan Paul Accuses Bad Bunny of Exploiting Puerto Rico.\n\n\ud83d\udca3 Claims BB is privately using the same tax program he is publicly condemning.\u201d— Philip DeFranco \ud83d\udc4a\ud83c\udffb (@Philip DeFranco \ud83d\udc4a\ud83c\udffb) 1665006684
Paul felt the need to call out Bad Bunny, a native Puerto Rican, after the international superstar released a music video for his song "El Apagón," which doubles as a documentary exposing the gentrification of his beloved island. The short film, entitled Aquí Vive Gente [People Live Here], calls out rich foreigners moving to Puerto Rico which then displaces longtime residents from their home as rising housing costs and the destruction of their infrastructure makes it more difficult to stay in place.
The YouTuber is taking advantage of Act 22, also known as The Act to Promote the Relocation of Investors to Puerto Rico. Foreigners who move to Puerto Rico can avoid paying capital gains on taxes, investments, cryptocurrency, stocks and more. According to the 20/22 Act Society, this "should result in new local investments in real estate, services, and other consumer products, and in capital injections to the Puerto Rico banking sector, all of which will stimulate the economy of Puerto Rico."
While it's good for investors, the tax benefits are proving to be detrimental to locals. “Every single home that you see that is going through a renovation, it's getting ready for Airbnb. It's not getting ready to be a (long term) rental home,” hospitality manager Jennifer Márquez said to USA Today. “So, you have locals, and then you have the international, you know, travelers who saw potential because of Act 20 and Act 22.” Other locals have voiced their displeasure with the island's rising inequality, feeling that foreigners are being treated better.
To his defense, Paul claims he donated $25,000 to Taller Salud, a grassroots feminist organization on the island. He and his brother, Jake, have also repaired boxing gyms and given out aid to people impacted by the recent hurricanes.
Actions speak louder than words, and time will tell if they really do invest their tax savings back into the community they claim to love.
Below, watch the full conversation between DeFranco and Paul.
Photos courtesy of Jason Sean Weiss/BFA and Tinseltown/Shutterstock
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