T.V. dramas can be extremely damaging

Emma Coppolo, A&E Editor

In the past few years, tell-all biographical shows and movies have exposed the most difficult and triumphant times in celebrities’ lives. While fans have loved these in-depth examinations of pop culture moments, the reception by the people being portrayed has been mixed. I personally think that the margin of error in creating these portrayals is incredibly small, but the best way to avoid hurting celebrities in the process is by including and consulting them after receiving permission.Motley Crue was one of the first experiences I had with this sort of situation. In 2001, the band published “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band.”

I read this book in early 2019, and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t believe how revealing the book was, and reading the stories as told from the band’s point of view was such a surreal experience. A movie adaptation, simply entitled “The Dirt,” was released by Netflix in 2019. My friends and I absolutely love this movie, and we watch it every time we hang out. However, “The Dirt” specifically consulted Motley Crue members to ensure that the movie was as accurate as possible, even in the darker parts. This attention to detail and care was not taken in Hulu’s Pam and Tommy. Audiences and critics alike have praised the show.

However, Pamela Anderson herself has been incredibly outspoken about her disdain for the show. According to Anderson, she was not consulted at all in the series’ creation. While this may not seem incredibly serious, Anderson explains that the events being depicted are some of the most devastating and traumatizing of her life. The actual events were difficult enough for her to go through, and now she is forced to relive it all without being given the opportunity to empower herself and reclaim her narrative.I think that today’s celebrities are more exposed to public scrutiny than ever before; their privacy has fizzled to nearly nonexistent in a world that demands constant access. While these shows and movies are certainly entertaining, they definitely come at a cost for those portrayed and those around them. Even in Motley Crue’s case, there are undeniably people who were hurt by the movie.

Even if the band was happy with it, it would be naïve to believe that there were no negative impacts. Pamela Anderson’s story is a clear indicator for why these portrayals are dangerous. Profiting off of other people’s trauma has become extremely normalized in today’s media, and the public absolutely endorses it.I’m choosing not to watch Pam and Tommy because of the damage I believe stories like it cause. I don’t think that it’s wrong for others to watch it, but I think that it’s important that they understand the wider context and take the reality of it all into account. If movies and shows are going to be depicting such graphic and traumatizing storylines, I think that it all needs to be approached with an air of delicacy. Hopefully, in the future, Hollywood will finally understand empathy and respect