Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s iconic s-x tape was released in the 1990s, as detailed in the new Hulu series Pam & Tommy, but Anderson’s subsequent experiences had a significant negative impact on her career. Sebastian Stan, who plays the violent rockstar husband of Lily James’ legendary blonde beauty character, Tommy Lee from Mötley Crüe, co-stars in the series with Lily James as the iconic blonde bombshell. Robert Siegel, who wrote the screenplay for the nominated movie The Wrestler, is the author of the film Pam & Tommy. As the victims of a crime that landed them in the heart of one of the largest celebrity scandals of the 1990s, Anderson and Lee are given sympathetic treatment in the story.
Pam & Tommy begins with a dissatisfied carpenter called Rand Gauthier, portrayed by Seth Rogen, who had been contracted to perform renovations of Lee’s Malibu estate but had been sacked and left unpaid for his work. This scene is based on the actual events of the incident. Lee holds Gauthier at gunpoint and orders him to leave without his tools when he comes back to get them from the residence. Rogen’s Rand Gauthier, feeling humiliated and in need of money, decides to go back to the house and break into a safe that Lee had kept in his garage, expecting that the contents would more than cover the cost of the work. He discovers the iconic tape inside the safe and subsequently makes the ground-breaking decision to make it public on the internet.
The ethics of disclosing such data without the consent of all parties involved have become a contentious topic as celebrity s-x recordings and n-des have grown increasingly popular online and “revenge p-rn” has increased, frequently against the subjects’ will. However, the internet was still in its infancy at the time, and the video’s disturbing subject matter contributed to its status as one of the first internet viral videos. Although Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson wasn’t utterly destroyed by the s-x tape’s release, it did dramatically alter the course of her career and make it harder for her to be regarded seriously as an actress.
Anderson was attempting to advance her career above her s-x symbol image and establish herself as a legitimate movie star when the tape was leaked in 1996. When Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee filed a lawsuit to prevent the tape from being made public, the defence attorneys mentioned her Playboy spreads and questioned why the pair would care about the recording given that she had repeatedly posed for Playboy. Without taking into account the problem of permission, private and intimate moments she had shared with her spouse were compared to the attractive image that she conveyed in her public career.
People were quick to assume that the footage had been intentionally leaked due to her public demeanour and that of her spouse, who had a bad-boy reputation. Because of the widespread perception that it was a PR hoax, Anderson’s reputation took a slight hit. Her acting career never fully recovered. Before playing C.J. Parker on Baywatch, she had only made an appearance as a “Tool Time lady” on Home Improvement. When her next project, Barb Wire, bombed about the same time the tape surfaced, she was made fun of. Her marriage to Tommy Lee was also strained as a result of the recording; the two separated in 1998 as a result of a domestic incident that landed him in jail for six months.
Pamela Anderson felt betrayed after the events of Pam & Tommy and had to deal with a public that didn’t share her compassion for a woman who owned her s-xu-lity. Her reputation was permanently changed by the stolen tape. She has had a long career in the spotlight and is still regarded as one of the most well-known and identifiable s-x symbols of the 1990s.