BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalJune 2, 2023
4 months ago

'Shark Tank' Host Seeks Restraining Order Against Former Contestants

In a sobering reminder that "reality" television programming is often based on anything but reality, a much-celebrated business deal from popular celebrity investment show "Shark Tank" is turning ugly in a very public -- and legal -- way.

"Shark Tank," the ABC show which features wealthy celebrity investors listening to pitches and choosing whether or not to invest in a product, features some big names in the business world, ranging from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to "Mr. Wonderful" Kevin O'Leary.

Another frequent investor on the rotating panel is fashion mogul Daymond John, who founded the FUBU apparel line and company.

Given that, one may assume that John largely sticks to fashion-tinged investments, but he, just like the rest of the investors, generally keeps a fairly varied business portfolio.

John's portfolio is varied enough to include "Bubba's Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs," and therein lies the root of this ongoing controversy.

According to the Los Angeles Times, John is "seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction" against the family in charge of "Bubba's."

Specifically, John is seeking for Al “Bubba” Baker, his daughter, Brittani, and his wife, Sabrina, to stop maligning the "Shark Tank" show, as they have been doing after a Times investigation where the Bakers revealed that the investment show was a "nightmare."

The Bakers appeared on Season 5 of "Shark Tank," where they ultimately opted to take a business deal with John over O'Leary.


Since that happy and harmonious clip, however, things have reportedly deteriorated to the point of toxicity.

The Times notes that the Bakers are claiming the on-air offer of $300,000 for 30 percent of the company was "later revised" to reflect a $100,000 investment for a 35 percent stake, a stark drop in value.

The Bakers also claimed that Al Baker had been excluded from key business meetings and intentionally left in the dark. Further, the Bakers allege that they've only seen about $659,000 (or four percent) of the publicly stated $16 million in revenue the business has generated since John invested in it.

In short, the Bakers' claims largely assert that John has been a deceptive business partner.

Baker, for his part, has specifically expressed disappointment in John as a fellow black man in America.

"I was super proud of my relationship [with John]," Baker told the Times. "I just never expected economic marginalism from another African American."

Bubba Baker has also used his Twitter to disparage the show, repeating the claims of it being a "nightmare:"

"Business Since #SharkTank has been a nightmare," Baker, a longtime NFL lineman, tweeted out Friday. "[S]addened to find out we aren't the only small business affected by this."

John and his associates are seeking to squelch that sort of commentary, per the Times.

The restraining order and injunction that John is seeking against the Bakers comes on the heels of a federal judge in New Jersey throwing out the Bakers' complaints against John and "Shark Tank."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal



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