Spent: Looking for Change, a new documentary that follows the lives of four American families wrestling with the costs and inconveniences that come with living outside the traditional financial system, will premiere June 4. The film, sponsored by American Express, will be made available on YouTube, in partnership with The Young Turks, the largest online news show in the world.
The documentary, narrated by Tyler Perry, puts a spotlight on an important issue that impacts one in four U.S. households who are not well served by the traditional banking system and rely instead on services like check cashers, payday lenders and pawn shops to meet basic financial needs. The costs for these services can add up, with the average underserved household spending ten percent of their income on fees, the same as the typical American family spends on groceries1.
“I know about this issue first-hand and how expensive it is to not be a part of the mainstream financial system,” said film narrator, Tyler Perry. “Growing up the way I did, there was no education about how important it was to be financially responsible. That’s why I felt compelled to participate in this film—to help educate others and advocate for better options.”
“With the debut of Spent: Looking for Change, we hope to spark a national dialogue about re-imagining financial services as we know it today,” said Dan Schulman, group president, American Express, Enterprise Growth. “Change is possible and we believe financial exclusion is a solvable problem, but it’s going to take lots of people working together, raising awareness, and investing in initiatives that help to create better, more affordable financial solutions for everyone.”
The documentary will officially debut online June 4 at 7:00 PM EST on The Young Turks' YouTube and Hulu channels. The Young Turks is the largest online news show in the world combining unfiltered and independent commentary and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports and pop culture.
The film will remain online for free, providing anyone the opportunity to watch, engage in conversation, and help spread awareness. It will also be posted on American Express’ YouTube channel and at SpentMovie.com, where further information will be available on June 4, including more information about the issue and how to get involved.
Simultaneous to the online Spent: Looking for Change premiere, an event will be held at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The event will feature a full screening of the film and a question and answer session hosted by The Young Turks with executive producer Davis Guggenheim and director Derek Doneen.
To view the trailer for Spent: Looking for Change and learn more about American Express’ campaign to improve financial inclusion in the U.S., visit www.SpentMovie.com.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that helps enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/amexserve, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/amexserve, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
About ‘The Young Turks’ and TYT Network
The Young Turks is the largest online news show in the world, covering politics, pop culture and lifestyle. The teleprompter-free show is one of the top 50 YouTube partners, with more than 38 million views a month and more than 1.3 billion total views on The Young Turks YouTube channel. The Young Turks received the 2013 People's Voice Webby Award for best news and politics series, 2011 News/Politics Shorty Award, Best Political Podcast 2009 at the Podcast Awards and Best Political News Site 2009 at the Mashable Awards.
The Young Turks is the flagship show of the TYT Network, which includes What the Flick?!, TYT University, TYT Sports, TYT Interviews and The Point (on Town Square, a YouTube original channel), as well as new shows and channels, including PopTrigger, Nerd Alert and TYT Comedy.
About Tyler Perry
Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Perry’s strength, faith and perseverance would later form the foundations of his plays, films, books and shows. A simple piece of advice from Oprah set his career in motion as a diary of his daily thoughts and experiences led to his writing of a musical, I Know I’ve Been Changed, in 1992. Five years later with no money left, Perry’s faith in himself and God only got stronger, allowing him to forge ahead. In 1998, his perseverance paid off when one of his plays saw his community come out in droves and Perry never looked back as he began an incredible run of eight plays in eight years. The now-legendary Madea character first debuted in 2000’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and spawned three more plays leading to Perry’s jump to the big screen with 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which debuted at #1 nationwide. Since then, more than 15 of his films have been met with massive fan support and commercial success. In 2006, Perry’s first book, Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries On Life and Love, shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. In 2007, Perry expanded his brand to television with the TBS series House of Payne, the highest-rated first-run syndicated cable show of all time and followed that up with Meet the Browns, in addition to For Better or Worse and The Have and Have Nots, both collaborations with Oprah Winfrey on her cable network, OWN. Also a philanthropist, Perry has been intimately involved and donated generously to civil rights organizations and charities focused on helping the homeless, among other causes. Perry can next be seen on the big screen in a role opposite Ben Affleck in David Fincher’s upcoming film, Gone Girl.