Millions of aspiring entrepreneurs sign up for multilevel marketing companies, or MLMs, every year. On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took a closer look at how companies like Mary Kay, Nu Skin, and Herbalife function, hiring salespeople to peddle often-dubious products. Oliver’s conclusion? MLMs are “fucking awful.”
MLMs may claim to not be pyramid schemes, but they sure operate like them, pointed out Oliver. And since their methods—incentivizing participants to recruit others, specifically targeting Latinos, etc.—seem to work so well, Oliver made a second version of his segment with Spanish subtitles for sharing purposes. He even let Jane the Virgin’s Jaime Camil take over at the end. (You can watch Camil play host around the 29-minute mark.)
On the other hand, if even after all that, you think Oliver is exaggerating and these schemes sound pretty great, here’s your chance to try one out, with Slate’s own (risk-free!) MLM simulator. Good luck.