At the time, and for years following, it was considered a scandal. What the new trailer for upcoming (and somewhat controversial) TV series, Pam & Tommy, throws jarringly into the spotlight, however, is that actually the whole thing was nothing but a sex crime. Starring Lily James (who is almost unrecognisable from her days of Downton Abbey and Cinderella) as Anderson and Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier) as Tommy, the eight-part Hulu mini series focuses on the whirlwind and somewhat infamous romance between the two, as well as their leaked sex tape.In case you’re rusty on the full story, lets walk through it.Back in 1995, on a (particularly long) first date, Anderson and Lee decided to tie the knot. While on their honeymoon, they filmed a sex tape.That tape ended up in the hands of a former porn actor Rand Gauthier (who’s played by Seth Rogen in the show) who had been hired by the couple as an electrician, and his accomplice Uncle Miltie (played by Nick Offerman) after the former was fired for bad work.The private intimacy of the tape was echoed by Offerman’s character in the trailer.“It’s so private,” he says. “It’s like we’re seeing something we’re not supposed to be seeing. Which is kind of what makes it so hot.”While Anderson and Lee became aware of the tape being taken, they were unable to get it back and it was leaked to the world. They eventually sued distributor Internet Entertainment Group for releasing the sex tape without their consent and reached a confidential settlement, but the damage was done.There’s been plenty of revenge porn, leaked sex tapes and nudes since then — Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence and Lara Bingle, just to name a few infamous incidents. Pamela Anderson was just the first person we owed an apology to. Also, please note, we nearly always remember the names of the women involved, but we rarely blink an eye about the men — at least, not in the same, lasting way.That’s another sentiment echoed so well in the trailer when a panicked Pamela says “Every second that passes, this tape could be spreading” and a far calmer Tommy tries to calm her down, then says: “I’m on that tape, same as you”.“No, not like me you’re not,” she replies.While the reactions to events like these have been slowly changing, it still seems to only have budged slightly from full condemnation of the woman involved, to “oh that’s terrible, but why would you make videos or take photos like that if you didn’t want them to be seen”. Either way, it’s still victim blaming, and it’s messed up. The reality is, ever since cameras were easy to get your hands on, couples have been doing these things for and with each other. Sure it’s not for everyone, but I’d hazard a strong guess that it’s the vast majority. It’s normal, it’s intimate and it’s always a private agreement between the people involved.The scandal, then, isn’t with the people in the sex tape, but rather with the creeps who steal it, leak it, or use it to threaten the subjects. Also, I would argue, it’s on everyone who can’t help but go searching for the leak to view it themselves, even after it’s pretty clear there was no consent.There’s a reason Australia made it a criminal offence to distribute, or even just threaten to distribute, an intimate image or video. That includes sharing it online, or showing it to other people in your own living room.This is a good part of the reason why even making this show was quite controversial. After the first-look photos of Lily James and Sebastian Stan were released, Courtney Love — a long-time friend of Anderson’s blasted the creators in a since deleted Facebook post.“I find this f***ing outrageous,” Love wrote, particularly focusing on the sex tape. “I banned anyone discussing it,” she continued, referring to colleagues working with her in the studio at the time of the leak. “It destroyed my friend Pamela’s life. Utterly”.Love also explained how she shut producers down when they asked her permission to use her December 1994 Rolling Stone cover in the show.“I said ‘f**k no’ shocked. Gentleman [sic] don’t approve this sort of thing. My heart goes out to Pammy.”You can watch the full trailer of Pam & Tommy below.
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