Richard Branson and Mark Cuban. Two of the wealthiest businessmen in the world have companies, products, and customers coming out of their ears, but are the billionaires friends with one another, especially after such an explosive episode on television together?
Richard Branson and Mark Cuban are not super-close friends and aren’t’ seen in public together, nor claim to be close friends, but they do get on with one another and have a laugh when they are seen together. Their most notable public appearance together was on ABC’s Shark Tank, where they argued.
The argument could have made it seem as though the two are against each other, especially since Richard publicly apologized to Mark on his blog after throwing a glass of water at him on-air, and it was just a bit of a misunderstanding. Let’s find out what actually happened!
The Explosive Moment
Here. You can see it for yourself.
As you can see, the moment isn’t super serious, with a lot of the other sharks laughing at what’s going on, some in shock at what just happened, but there is definitely a slightly bitter undertone, especially coming from Mark, and then Richard himself at the end once Marks returns the action.
So, what actually happened?
Well, it all took place on the Season 9 premiere of Shark Tank, which was aired on ABC back in 2017. The usual Shark, Kevin O’Leary, had to sit the episode out, and Richard was asked to come on the show as a guest Shark.
Things get a little murky here because ABC reportedly edited and aired the show to make it look as though the two were arguing. It was an intense moment because Cuban was making Richard look bad for not wanting to go all the way with the deal with the person who was pitching them at the time, which was the clip shown above.
However, Mark Cuban, speaking on the SDR Podcast, cleared everything up by saying the show was cut as to not make any of the sharks look bad and to make the episode seem more explosive and argumentative than it actually was.
Instead, Mark says that a person came in asking for $350,000 for their business idea, but Richard only wanted to offer $100,000 for less of a percentage. Mark, being a full-time Shark on the show, asked Richard that he can’t have actually watched the show before because the person with the business idea needs to go away with the full amount they asked for, or more. It can never be less.
So, after concluding that Richard didn’t watch the show, and airing this information publicly, kind of jokingly teasing Richard for never having watched a television show he’s now a part of, Richard turns around and throws water over him, and Mark throws water back.
Mark then goes on to say that after the show that they were talking to each other, and Richard says something like ‘Hey man, I thought you knew that’s what I’m like?” referring to his actions of throwing water at people, cutting their ties off if they’re wearing a tie, and so on.
Mark confirms that they are both ‘cool’ with each other, and there really wasn’t a problem in the first place. They were just two billionaires having a laugh with each other, while a television series edited it all to make it look more dramatic and entertaining.
The aftermath of this situation is a strange one.
The media instantly caught onto the event and blew it up, with websites like Barstool Sports running headlines like; Billionaire Fight! Richard Branson Attacks Mark Cuban With Water During Taping Of Shark Tank, which, when you know the full story as shared by Mark himself, is a completely ridiculous headline to run.
News outlets like Yahoo!, The Express and more all ran similar headlines. Richard even posted and apologized to Mark via a post on his blog about his experience where he said the whole thing was a ‘misunderstanding.’
Here, he responds to the way the show was edited to make it look like Richard was getting upset that Mark was calling the business pitcher a ‘gold digger,’ which is a phrase used by sharks for people who come on the show not looking for investments, but rather the free publicity the show can give.
Going through both accounts, it seems that the stories don’t actually line up fully, but either way, both seem to have put the event behind them, and it hasn’t got in the way of the two of them getting along as friends.