Published on September 25th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz


“Pharma Bro” Director Brent Hodge On Martin Shkreli, The Wu Tang Clan, Wrestling & More

Martin Shkreli — the 38-year-old financial entrepreneur and pharmaceutical tycoon from Brooklyn, New York — was dubbed “the most hated man in America” by the media after he rose to infamy in 2015 for price-gouging the prescription drug Daraprim by 550 percent, overnight depriving patients of the life-saving medication. That same year, Shkreli purchased the Wu-Tang Clan’s single copy of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin for $2 million, and was arrested for securities fraud, eventually resulting in the subsequent forfeiture of the album and recent reselling of it by the U.S. government to an anonymous buyer to pay off Shkreli’s debt. He has gained notoriety for his unchecked online presence, which was ultimately his downfall and sent him to prison, where he continues to provoke the public with bombastic declarations about finding a cure for the virus which has upended the world, COVID-19.

Director Brent Hodge presents a new in-depth look on Shkreli in Pharma Bro, a concentrated year-long study of the man who defies traditional categorization. Through traveling to Shkrel, Albania to learn about his heritage and uncover his backstory, visiting hospitals and talking with Daraprim patients, watching countless hours of Shkreli’s live-streams, and uncovering the real story about the Wu-Tang album. In turn, Hodge — the documentarian behind A Brony Tale, I Am Chris Farley, Pistol Shrimps, Freaks & Geeks: The Documentary, Who Let The Dogs Out and Run This City — is able to provide new and alternative insight from a variety of sources, many of whom having had direct interactions with Shkreli over the years. Combining live-stream footage, sit-down interviews, news footage, filmed scenes and actual encounters with Shkreli, Hodge presents a prismatic image of Pharma Bro.

On September 21, 2021, I had the pleasure of speaking with Brent Hodge via Zoom, as embedded below. More on Hodge and Pharma Bro can be found by clicking here, here, here and here.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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