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Published On: January 28, 2022 12:04 PM NPT By: Associated Press

‘Pam & Tommy’ recaps sex tape drama through a #MeToo lens

‘Pam & Tommy’ recaps sex tape drama through a #MeToo lens


An impactful, if not cringe-worthy moment in the new Hulu series, “ Pam & Tommy, ” is when Lily James as Pamela Anderson is interviewed by Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” and he asks her about her sex tape with then-husband Tommy Lee. “What’s it like to have that kind of exposure?” He asks.

“What’s it like?” responds Lily James as Anderson. “It’s horrible ... It’s devastating.” Jokes about the sex tape were regular monologue fodder for Leno at the time. What perhaps was amusing in 1996 is disturbing in 2022. James says this fresh perspective is a point of the series, based on a Rolling Stone article written by Amanda Chicago Lewis in 2014.

“We’re looking back at these stories as kind of reckonings and realizing our own culpability in the way people have been treated and how as a society we treat women, particularly, not only through the media, but in all different levels,” said James. “It’s good to provoke a conversation, and it’s important for us all to sort of look inward and look at ourselves and try and do better.”

Yes, “Pam & Tommy” recreates the whirlwind courtship of a rock musician and TV star and their impulsive marriage. But the big takeaway for viewers is that the sex tape was not leaked to the public by Anderson or Lee, nor was it sold by them either. The tape was discovered in a safe that was stolen from their home by a carpenter (portrayed by Seth Rogen, an executive producer on the project) who had been fired from a construction job at their house. When Lee refused to pay him or give him his tools, he snuck back onto the property and stole the safe, hoping there was money and valuables inside. The tape ended up exchanging various hands, sold and also posted online.

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