Former hedge-funder and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli became one of the most hated men in America last month when it was revealed that he hiked up the price of a drug developed in the 1950s used to fight a parasitic infection in people with compromised immune systems, like AIDS patients, from $13.50 a tablet to $750 overnight for sheer profiteering purposes.
So when writer Eve Peyser matched with Shkreli on Tinder she had a couple things to say.
"I was definitely surprised he was willing to engage, especially after I wrote 'down to give me AIDS drugs?'" Peyser told The Huffington Post in an email Monday. Peyser proceeded to challenge Shkreli on his perception of the issue.
As any dude on Tinder and/or embroiled in a corporate PR scandal, Shkreli is terse.
"I mean, tbh, you did what so many big pharma heads do: privilege profit over regard for human life. You just got called out for it," Peyser tells him. "Not exactly!" he replies.
Evidently, "Snowden of AIDS drugs" was enough for Shkreli. "After the last message I sent him, he either unmatched me or blocked me. I was genuinely unsure how to play the conversation in the beginning, but I made the decision to try to keep him on board by actually having a conversation with him instead of scolding him."
The interaction did leave Peyser thinking, something she elaborated on in a blog post for Mic:
But matching with him on Tinder did make me think of him as a real person, in a way that I wouldn't have from just reading a news story about him. It also made me think of the other matches I get on Tinder as more human as well, which I don't always ask myself when I'm just swiping right and left blindly ... [E]ven though Martin Shkreli is the current face of all that is wrong with capitalism, I do have sympathy for the guy. After all, even questionably sociopathic pharma bros deserve to get laid.
However, she does think Shkreli should stay off Tinder.
"Chill with the online dating for a bit," she told HuffPost, "and maybe read some Marx."