Opinion: Does it matter that Pamela Anderson didn’t endorse ‘Pam & Tommy’?

Opinion: Does it matter that Pamela Anderson didn’t give her blessing to ‘Pam & Tommy’? | Soho House

From Janet Jackson to Britney Spears, celebrities are reclaiming their own narratives, writes Hanna Flint. But how do we consider work not approved by the person it portrays? Paging Kanye West…

Friday 11 February 2022   By Hanna Flint

We’re in cultural reckoning right now. No, not that one. #MeToo is still happening, lads. What I mean is, there is currently a reckoning going on, a review, a reappraisal, as it were, of an increasing number of female artists who were unfairly maligned during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. In the cold light of 2022, it’s certainly wince-inducing to be so viscerally reminded of the awful treatment some of the world’s biggest female stars were met with. 
 
The #FreeBritney fan movement really put a spotlight on the indentured servitude – yes, I said it – she was forced into by her father, masquerading as a conservatorship. Now, through recent documentaries, it’s plain to see just how much unchecked sexism and misogyny in the press, in the music industry, and public contributed to her 13-year ordeal. Cara Cunningham was right; we should have left Britney alone.

Opinion: Does it matter that Pamela Anderson didn’t give her blessing to ‘Pam & Tommy’? | Soho House
Opinion: Does it matter that Pamela Anderson didn’t give her blessing to ‘Pam & Tommy’? | Soho House

Before Spears, there was Tammy Faye Messner. Someone who, probably, no one had heard of outside the US, but apparently received a disproportionate amount of the backlash over their fraudulent misdeeds spearheaded by her disgraced televangelist ex-husband, Jim Bakker. Jessica Chastain just earned an Oscar nomination for playing the makeup-heavy evangelical singer in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye which, like I, Tonya, is a redemption biopic.

Opinion: Does it matter that Pamela Anderson didn’t give her blessing to ‘Pam & Tommy’? | Soho House

And who can forget the story of actor Sean Young? She went from hero to zero after accusations of being ‘difficult’ became Hollywood gospel. With the rerelease of some of her classic movies, like Blade Runner and Dune in recent years, she’s been given a platform to share her side in big publications, and I can remember the candid chat we had last year for Empire magazine. I’ll never forget what she said the experience taught her. ‘You have to learn to shut your mouth,’ Young said. ‘That’s the price you pay as a woman.’ 
 
It broke my heart just a little bit. Maybe that was the cost then, but thank the Goddess women like Janet Jackson and Sinead O’Connor are no longer willing to pay it now. They’ve taken back control of their narratives, made their own factual films and series after their respective, critically acclaimed careers imploded over a nipple and the Pope. Justice for Janet. Sinead was right.