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He played the ‘First Kid.’ Now, he’s running for president

‘The Mighty Ducks’ star Brock Pierce is running for president in the 2020 election

SHARE He played the ‘First Kid.’ Now, he’s running for president
“The Mighty Ducks” star Brock Pierce is running for president in the 2020 election.

“The Mighty Ducks” star Brock Pierce is running for president in the 2020 election.

Brock Pierce for President

Brock Pierce knows what it’s like to live in the White House. Sort of.

He was once the first kid (the president’s son). Again, sort of.

Pierce — many will remember — was once the first kid at the White House in the ’90s classic film “First Kid.” He played Luke Davenport, a young whiz kid who was assigned a new body guard in Sam Simms (Sinbad) to protect him after Luke’s bad behavior gets him into trouble.

Throughout the film, Luke constantly uses an online chat to talk with a friend named Mongoose12. It turns out Mongoose12 ends up being Luke’s former bodyguard who was in search of revenge. But Luke spends a lot of time in the movie on the computer, typing away in a chat system that was way ahead of its time.

And that gets us to who Pierce is now. His acting days are long behind him. His last film was a Christian film (he now identifies as a nondenominational Christian). He’s moved on — though he admits he still thinks about movies he would want to be in if he were acting today — and has instead been a pioneer in multiple industries that have proven to be successful. Esports. Cryptocurrency.

And now, Pierce is running for president — the first name on the ballot in Utah. He knows he won’t win, but that’s not the point. He said he’s running for president because he sees the country is in trouble, but maybe not for the reasons you’d think.

I recently spoke with Pierce about his political ambitions and why he decided to run for office. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

Deseret News: I got my ballot yesterday. You’re running for president. What went into that decision?

Brock Pierce: I guess it comes from being deeply concerned about the state of our nation. You know, I’m looking around and I’m not liking what I see. You know, I’ve been on the forefront of innovation for a while. I’ve been kind of there as future events are happening consistently, which I think would suggest that I’ve got a pretty good sense of where things aren’t going — enough to the point that I’ve been on the forefront of creating, you know, call it the future, over and over and over again. And I look at, you know, call it our collective future as a nation right now, and we are on a very bad path. And I’m not one of those people that just is gonna sit by and watch. I’m gonna do everything I can to get involved.

DN: What do you mean when you say you’ve been on the forefront? What do you mean by creating things and building the future?

BP: Starting from when I was 16, I created the first kind of internet media company that was the precursor to YouTube, Hulu and Netflix. In my 20s, ... I launched AliPay in China, built up a supply chain of people that played video games professionally for me to mine digital currencies, testing economic theories, over and over and over again, tenuring professors. And then I wanted to see if these same ideas could be applied to the default world or the analog world. So I’ve been chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. ... I mean the list goes on and on and on, many of the things that are ultimately changing the world in which we live.

These are all things no one had ever done before. I really am only interested in things that are impossible, meaning no one has ever done it before. If someone else is doing it, I’m not interested. And it’s like, “Great. How can I help you?” I do the things that no one else is capable of.

DN: You’re this child actor. You’re in “The Mighty Ducks” movies, you’re in “First Kid.” Now you’re doing these new things. That’s a pretty significant jump. I know a lot of child actors end up flaming out or end their careers early. How did you make the transition? Did you ever consider staying in acting?

BP: My first memory in life takes place on a set, making a commercial called “Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” And so, I didn’t choose to be an actor. It’s just what I grew up doing. And so once I started, once I became a star and I was starring in movies, I started to experience fame. And I decided I wasn’t a big fan of fame. And so I had to ask myself like, “What’s my calling? What is it that I ultimately want to do?”

I decided that I wanted to write my own script — I wanted to be the director of my own life. And so, having been a byproduct of the first generation of kids with computers and the internet, I recognized that technology was going to change the world. And I decided I wanted to be part of that, and I walked away from acting at the height of my career.

That’s a big part of what has enabled me to do the things that I’ve done in my life. I have no problem with walking away from whatever it is that I’m doing and reinventing myself. And once you’ve done that multiple times, you know, then it becomes easy. You just really start to have faith in yourself, and you really start to believe in yourself. And so that’s what’s allowed me to just keep innovating and continuing to create over and over and over again.

DN: What were some of the pitches that were thrown at you to stay in acting? Were there movies that they wanted you to star in? If you had stayed an actor, what would you have wanted to be in?

BP: I’d already decided to quit acting, and they were able to convince me to do one last movie. And so Billy Graham asked me to make a movie for charity and for the church. And so I came out of retirement to make one last movie because it felt like a good way to end the career, on a philanthropic note, which probably played a role in why my focus in life is so philanthropic. And it’s about giving back, and I measure my success in life by what I give not what I have. And that probably played a key role in that. And so I did one last movie called “The Ride” when I was 16, and I said, “That’s it. I’ve now closed up my career on a philanthropic note.”

If I had stayed acting, I might have booked a role in “Lord of the Rings.” You know, I might have booked a role in the new “Star Wars.” I mean, these are the things where I sometimes think, what if? And that’s just because I’m such a fan. And it’s like, I probably could have booked a role and had stayed in acting.

DN: You’re in three of the most iconic movies for ’90s kids with “First Kid” and the first two “Mighty Ducks” movies. Then, you shifted to the video game industry with Titan Gaming?

BP: So in 2004 and 2005, I became very interested in esports, competitive gaming. I was like a pro gamer as a kid. I built the first competitive gaming competition in China, renting out stadiums, filling them with thousands and thousands of people. I was very deep into the competitive gaming world back in the mid-2000s. So I eventually bought a pin called Titan, which was an esports competitive gaming platform. And then I spawned a company called XFire out of Viacom. I was just a little too early. The esports industry didn’t really take off until 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. And so, I was, you know, five to 10 years too early building out that industry.

I shifted my focus to cryptocurrency and blockchain. I was right. I’ve never been wrong about a future trend. I’ve never been wrong. My companies may not have been the winner. My timing might have been slightly off, but I’ve never been wrong in my predictions of future industries.

I’ve done a lot of things. I started the first crypto bank. I’ve started two banks in my life. I mean, I do things. I’ve held a lot of offices, and I’ve got a lot of things done in my life.

DN: You started Tether, which is a form of cryptocurrency. Can you speak to that and the future of cryptocurrency?

BP: We’ve got real challenges. If something were to happen to the U.S. dollar’s reserve status in the world, it will have a drastic effect on all of our lives, all of our businesses and all of our institutions — and no one’s talking about it. The U.S. dollar is at risk. And it’s under threat. It’s at risk because of our national debt and our fiscal policies. Normally in elections you’d hear about this topic, but not anymore, no longer a topic that either political party seems to care about, and it matters. Well, at the same time, China has created the Chinese digital yuan. This is a huge deal. The U.S. dollar adds $20-$30 trillion of value to our economy. If something were to happen to this, like all of our lives are going to get really bad.

DN: This seems very far removed from our current political discourse. We barely talk about climate change. We’re not talking about digital currency and our government.

BP: We have so many real issues right now, and we’re not even talking about the real issues. This political play is a joke. And I think we’re doomed if we don’t do something different. Albert Einstein is credited with this quote that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. You know we can’t keep with this left-right, left-right, left-right. We need to find a path forward and start addressing these very real issues. You know, it’s the 11th hour. We’re in deep trouble if we don’t start doing things differently.

DN: You’re running for president in Utah. It’s a pretty stacked ballot with President Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Kanye West among others. What’s your pitch for president?

BP: Well, I mean, that depends on each voter. I’m typically not in the business of telling people you should do this. I’m in the business of giving you, informing you, providing you with information so that you can make the best decision for yourself. And the main thing that I would encourage every voter to do is to vote their conscience ... don’t make a decision out of fear.

So I’m in touch with, call it, the reality of the present. I talk about the things that really matter that no one else is really willing to talk about. I present a vision for our future. I actually have a vision. I’m incorruptible, and I think I represent the middle of this country. I think I represent what most of us as Americans are, which are moderates that want to get along. We have more in common and we have things that separate us. And this country has been divided. You know, it’s become polarized. Divided we fall, united we stand. I think it’s time that we stand up for something new. I think it’s time we stand up for something different, because what has served us in the past is clearly not serving us.

DN: Interesting. And remind me — you’ve been working with Akon?

BP: Akon is the chief strategist of my campaign. We’ve been working together for almost a decade. We’re friends. He sees what I see. He feels what I feel, which is, something’s wrong and we got to do something. And so, I’m not alone. A lot of us are waking up to the fact that we got to do something.

DN: So are you running to spread awareness about these issues of digital currency? Or are you running because you think you have a legitimate shot to beat President Trump or Biden?

BP: I think I’ve got a legitimate shot to win in 2024.