Eddie Huang Calls Being A TED Fellow ‘Like Being At A F*cking Scientology Summer Camp’

Eddie Huang put TED on blast last week after being booted from the Fellowship program for skipping out on part of a day’s events to do a podcast hosted by an artist and a porn star. NBD. But his tirade continued on an installment of The Joe Rogan Experience, which Eddie did a guest appearance on last week. The full podcast runs a lengthy 95 minutes, but around 1:14:00, Eddie starts talking about his experiences at TED and basically slams it for being a cult.

“I just went through a whole week of people telling me what to do, where to be, and it was like being at a fucking scientology summer camp,” he said. “It was horrible.”

Like Eddie told us, the TED organizers expect their fellows to participate in every event, which basically amounts to seven 12-15 hour long days, for which they aren’t getting paid. He went on to explain how they’re forced to room with another fellow, a total stranger, in crappy hotels as “part of the TED experience.” Also, people who attend TED conferences (about 2000 in all) pay $8000 EACH to hear speakers. After Joe Rogan did some fuzzy math, Eddie helped and pointed out that’s $16 million in attendance sales. And the Fellows aren’t paid. Yeah.

Let that simmer, and you can catch the whole podcast below.

Bonus dish: Eddie revealed that his memoir Fresh Off the Boat is being optioned for a sit-com, and he had to make a mad dash to catch a meeting with NBC. Fancy!

  • KWDragon

    Still sounds like sour grapes. Being a TED fellow is about more than the lucrative speaking engagements (after the mandatory free week). It’s also about making the world a better place, which apparently Mr. Huang is not interested in advancing unless there is cash in his pocket. For someone who is not altogether worried about a living wage, it smacks of selfishness.

    I don’t give three figs for his work with a porn podcast, but if that’s his attitude, I’m glad they kicked him out.

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