What Pam & Tommy should omit from the true story

To refrain from taking advantage of an already traumatic situation, there are a few things that Hulus’ upcoming miniseries Pam and Tommy would be better not to. This series about robbery and illegal distribution of a home sex band made by Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in the 1990s recently released a busy teaser trailer that continues the conversation about the controversy that has plagued the project since it was announced. Although it stars big names like Lily James, Sebastian Stan and Seth Rogen, and is directed by Me, Tonyas Craig Gillespie, people are already criticizing the series because of the sensitive nature of the subject and the lack of involvement from both the real Anderson and Lee.

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That’s fair point. But given the fact that the show has not been aired yet, it is impossible to know what tone it will take. It is very possible Pam and Tommy could be an offensive, rude and scornful exploitation of a scandal that already did a lot of damage when it happened; or, it could offer a new, more empathetic retelling of history that provides social commentary on the commodization of public life, the misogynistic double standards that are still in place today, or the rapid cultural shifts that accompany the advent of the Internet. Hopefully the series will lean to the last, for this scandalous and career-damaging series of events is only worth resuming if there is anything new and insightful to say about it.

Related: Pam & Tommy: Everything You Need to Know

The true story of Pam and Tommy is often weirder than fiction, and definitely filled with material that would make it great TV. In 1994, Lee allegedly withheld $ 20,000 in salary from an electrician hired to renovate his home in Malibu, Rand Gauthier (who will be played by Seth Rogen), and pointed a gun in his face at him as he tried to collect its tool. In search of revenge, Gauthier planned a robbery to steal a large safe from Pam and Tommy without knowing that there was a very personal bond of the couple inside. When he found out, Gauthier used his connections in the porn industry to distribute the video far and wide, despite desperate and ineffective legal steps by Pam and Tommy. The recordings eventually ended up on the internet, which was still in its infancy, and helped create a well-known consumer culture that paved the way for future stars like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian (who also had her own sex tape).

All of this is public knowledge, and comes largely from Pam and Tommy themselves, who have continued to live very visible lives. In theory, all the upcoming miniseries will do is create a narrative that provides a new interpretation of real events that are very easy to find online. However, these are things that happened less than 30 years ago and hurt real people. In order to justify its own existence as anything other than an offensive exploitation of unfortunate circumstances, Pam and Tommy will have to draw a fine line between what it should portray and what it absolutely should not. Here are some things to avoid in the Hulu series.

Restoration of the sex tape

Featured Sebastian Stan New photo Pam Tommy

This seems obvious, but based on Pam and Tommy teaser trailer, it is certainly not given. Needless to say, an intimate video of two married adults having sex, which was distributed without their permission and to their great distress. does not in any way be re-enacted for television. Their privacy has already been deeply violated and need not be further mocked or commodified by a whole new generation.

The crazy story surrounding the release of the sex tape has already been shared by Pam and Tommy in various interviews, memoirs and statements over the years, making it a fair game for public consumption – to some extent. However, earlier Baywatch Star Pamela Anderson in particular has made it clear that she is still unhappy and sad about what happened to the tape and the lack of control and support she suffered throughout the situation. Out of respect for the people whose real experiences are being used as a means of telling an entertaining story, the public recordings that were meant to be private will hopefully not be explicitly revisited on screen by James and Stan.

Related: Why Lily James left Downton Abbey (and why she’s not in the movie)

Exploits Pam’s trauma

Pam discovers the sex tape

Courtney Love has perhaps been the most prominent of Pam and Tommy‘s opponents, call the show “so damn scandalous“in a deleted Facebook post. She wrote that the sex tape”ruined my friend Pamela’s life. Complete,“and that the series would further cause her”complex trauma.“She also wanted shame on actress Lily James for taking the role. [via Vanity Fair] Although Pam has not commented on the series herself, much has been done about a source close to her who says that “Pamela does not intend to watch this god terrible show, absolutely not“to be as it was”one of the most difficult experiences of her life. Getting it muddy up for a TV show is pathetic.” [via The Sun]

Especially given Pam’s apparent disapproval, Pam and Tommy will have to work very hard not to make her wrong than it already does by simply existing. The whole experience was undoubtedly devastating and traumatic for her, and it’s hard (but not impossible) to believe that the series will do her any kind of justice. Although Pam never sees it, the show has the potential to rewrite the degrading and objectifying narrative that was about her in the 1990s in the minds of new viewers. On the other hand, it also has the potential to exploit Pam’s trauma for sheer drama and entertainment value. Worse, the miniseries is referred to as a comedy, and it can make fun of the pain she experienced.

However, the teaser trailer suggests that the show will touch on the drastically different reactions that the sex tape got to both Pam and Tommy. While Tommy, who has previously been played on screen by Machine Gun Kelly in the Mötley Crüe movie The Dirt, was cemented as a hedonistic rock’n’roll sex god by legend, Pam was shamed, degraded and humiliated due to gendered double standards and widespread misogyny. The show owes it at least to Pam and all the women like her who have been exposed without their consent to push back against the toxic, sexist ideas that are still widely persistent in popular belief today.

Glamorization of an abusive relationship

In May 1998, Tommy Lee was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading not guilty to a felony charge of spousal violence. Even this was not a private event in the couple’s life when Pam told reporters outside the courthouse that she was “proud of Tommy“and “glad he took responsibility for this.” [via AP News] One of their two young sons was present during the violent incident and the couple divorced shortly after. It is important to remember that they had a whirlwind romance and an abuse relationship; it would not be truthful to show the former without acknowledging the latter. Pam and Tommy must take care not to glamorize a situation that was far from healthy, with or without the sex tape.

Related: Pam & Tommy Cast: Every Actor Confirmed (and Who They Play)

Unlike Pam, Tommy has expressed approval for Pam and Tommy. When asked about the show recently, Tommy has said that he knows the actor Sebastian Stan and that from what he has told him, it will be a “”really beautiful story.” [via ET] What it might mean to come from Tommy Lee is someone’s guess, but it seems somewhat worrying that the addict in the relationship has given Pam and Tommy thumb up while the other has not.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether the series will have anything of real significance to offer, or whether it will fall back on raw humor and Hollywood stereotypes. However, Pam and Tommy certainly has the ability to move the lens through which modern audiences see the infamous situation. Ideally, this will be in a positive direction that does not inflict more unnecessary damage.

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