5 Common Misconceptions about Sean Parker
Sean Parker, the former employee of Napster and Facebook, is often misrepresented, thanks to the portrayal of his character in the film “The Social Network.” However, here are some of the most glaring misconceptions about Parker’s character that have been created by the film’s portrayal of him.
1. Underage Girls
In the film “The Social Network,” Sean Parker is portrayed as quite the ladies man. The first time we see Justin Timberlake’s version of the character, it is after a one night stand with a young college co-ed. Later in the film, he is caught with drugs while around underage girls.
However, these elements were fabricated. The real Sean Parker has commented that most of Justin Timberlake’s character portrayal from the film is inaccurate, going as far to claim “I wish my life was that cool.” The drug incident contained no evidence of him being around teenage girls. While Parker’s preference in women is unknown, there is also no evidence to assume the Casanova status portrayed on the screen.
2. Wanting to Change the Record Industry
One of the main points that “The Social Network” version of Sean Parker presents is that he was working toward making a change to the record industry by creating Napster. However, this was not actually the case. Napster was created by Sean Fanning and his uncle, John Fanning, as a way to exploit the already growing trade of MP3 audio files. Overall, it is pretty clear that the effect Napster would have on the music industry was not originally conceived by the creators and certainly was not an effort made by Sean Parker, despite what is represented on film.
3. Sean Parker created Napster
A major misconception about Sean Parker is his actual level of involvement in the creation of Napster. In fact, sources inconsistently refer to Parker as both a “co-founder” or “employee” and he did not come on board until after Sean Fanning had begun developing the software. The film version of Sean Parker seen in “The Social Network” seems boastful about his work with Napster, while neglecting to mention that he was not actually the creator of the service. However, it is unfair to assume that the film is completely wrong in its representation: the conflict in his title at Napster leads one to imagine that he could made attempts to sound like he had an equal share of work compared to Fanning.
3. Drug Usage
As mentioned before, Sean Parker is portrayed as a sex-addicted drug user by Justin Timberlake in “The Social Network.” While he was found with drugs and asked to leave Facebook, so little evidence was found by police that charges against him were dropped. He was only forced to leave Facebook at the insistence of one of the company’s investors, not Mark Zuckerberg as seen in the film. However, he obviously does like to use some illicit substances: he donated $100,000 to the campaign to legalize marijuana in California.
Sean Parker is seen as a very rude individual in “The Social Network.” Parker himself was very upset by this, especially the scene where Justin Timberlake writes a check and throws it in the face of the actor playing Eduardo Saverin. This did not happen and Parker and Saverin are actually still on good terms in real life.
5. Other Projects
Many people know Parker from his most famous works – Napster and Facebook – but he has done much more. He has worked on the e-mail program Plaxo and also was partially responsible for bringing the streaming music service Spotify to the United States.