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Pam & Tommy Hasn't Pamela Anderson suffered enough over sex tape without a Disney+ series?

New series is a further violation on privacy of Baywatch star


Lily James transformed as Pamela Anderson in the series Pam & Tommy

Lily James transformed as Pamela Anderson in the series Pam & Tommy

Lily James transformed as Pamela Anderson in the series Pam & Tommy

Hollywood's #MeToo movement has shown that transformation is possible.

And what Hollywood transformation could be more radical than Lily James turned Pamela Anderson?

It took four hours - along with a 34DD chest plate, blonde wig, blue contacts and spray tan - to turn the willowy British actress into the Canadian bombshell for new Disney+ mini-series Pam & Tommy.

Clean-cut Lily, best known for playing Cinderella, also studied the former Baywatch siren's voice and mannerisms in reams of old footage, to pass for her on the small screen.

The result, together with co-star Sebastian Stan's transformation into tattooed Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, Pamela's husband from 1995 to 1998, is nothing short of show-stopping. But, despite appearances, it seems some things never change in Tinseltown.


Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson

Just like the stolen sex tape at the centre of the eight-part drama, premiering this Wednesday, Pam & Tommy hits laptops everywhere without the permission of the couple it's based on.

For Pam, especially, who undeniably suffered most of the two when the intimate video broke the nascent internet after being stolen from a safe in their home in 1995, it feels like just another violation in an era when we're supposed to do better by women - no matter how the actress portraying her tries to dress it up.

In the run-up to the most talked about show of the new year, Downton Abbey alumna Lily admitted that the real Pam, now better known for her work with Peta than her appearances in Playboy, wanted nothing to do with the dramatisation, lamenting: "I was really hopeful that she would be involved."

Nevermind that, as the filmmakers, including a male writer, director and producer, felt better placed to "take care of the story", in the further words of the leading lady.

At least electrician Rand Gauthier, who stole the tape, and porn producer Milton Ingley, who helped distribute it, were honest in their sleazy endeavour to cash-in on the private honeymoon footage that became a public scandal for the infamously fiery couple, but primarily Pamela, who has reportedly found its retelling "very painful".

Hulu, the makers of Pam & Tommy, is billing the show as "a comedic limited series on the true story behind the release of the first-ever viral video in history".

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While the 54-year-old and her ex-husband have kept a dignified silence ahead of its release, pal Courtney Love certainly wasn't laughing when she slated the "f***ing outrageous" project for compounding the star's "complex trauma."

"Shame on Lily James, whoever the f*** she is," she added, in the Facebook post. Monica Lewinsky, who produced recent TV series Impeachment, unpacking the headlines that turned her into a household name in 1998, and Paris Hilton, whose 2020 documentary, This is Paris, revealed how her leaked 2004 sex tape was actually revenge porn, are just two of the women who've successfully regained control of the narrative.

But rewriting Pamela's story of survival without her, however well-intentioned, isn't the Time's Up-inspired act of feminism the filmmakers think it is.

In an age of 'ask consent' and 'ask her more', I'm asking: 'why bother watching?'

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