Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, sometimes collectively referred to as the Winklevii twins, are best known in pop culture as the people Mark Zuckerberg stole Facebook from. Their legacy, and perhaps their personality, was immortalized in the 2010 motion picture The Social Network, which has grossed over $240 million at the box office worldwide. Every so often the Winklevoss twins make headlines regarding their pursuit for compensation from Facebook, a legal battle that has been dragging on since 2004 when the twins and classmate Divya Narendra took Zuckerberg to court over claims that he stole their ConnectU idea and turned it into Facebook without their consent. Now the Winklevii are once again garnering 15 seconds of fame through the words of former Harvard president Larry Summers.
Summer served as president of Harvard during the time that Zuck, Narendra, and the Winklevii were in attendance. In The Social Network, which was based off of the book The Accidental Billionaires, the twins are dramatized as going to seek help from Summers in his office in regards to Zuckerberg’s alleged intellectual property theft. In the movie, Summers promptly dismissed Cameron and Tyler and shooed them out of his office like they were pests. How accurate was this portrayal?
Pretty accurate and then some, it turns out. In an interview at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference, Summers confided:
One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an asshole. This was the latter case. Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind.
Ouch! It seems like the twins aren’t getting much love from anyone, as they recently lost their appeal to the $65 million settlement with Facebook, claiming that the settlement money was grossly undervalued. Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing of the Winklevoss twins.
Source: Fortune Magazine