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‘Pam & Tommy’ Highlights How A Leaked S(e)x Tap Destroyed One Career


‘Pam & Tommy’ Highlights How A Leaked S(e)x Tap Destroyed One Career

A proof of the hypocrisy around sexuality and women’s bodies.

Pam & Tommy, a new series currently streaming in Australia on Disney+, was inspired by a true-life scandal. And Meredith Jones, who has vague memories of the real-life drama, has claimed the slow reveal in the series, which began by centering the male characters while presenting Pamela Anderson [played by Lily James] as a doll-like figure evolved to cement her as the real victim. 

“Pam & Tommy” explores the scandal of an infamous sex tape that featured Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson.

LENNOX MCLENDON, Associated Press

The couple’s s_e_x tape had been stolen from their home and leaked to the world.

Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

“I just remember the scandal at the time. I hadn’t quite remembered that the tape was stolen,” Jones, a director of the institute of Communities and Society at Brunel University London and expert on popular culture, especially when it comes to women’s bodies, told ABC, adding that: “By the third episode, we’re beginning to see that; actually, she’s the one who’s going to be most affected by this.”

As with the s*x tape, Dr. Jones believes women rarely benefit from such, while men often emerge unscathed.

Supplied: Disney+

Dr. Jones insisted it’s evident the leaked s*x tape had a lasting damaging effect on Anderson’s career.

Dr. Jones believes Anderson tried to model herself on a Marilyn Monroe-type figure, someone who’s considered sexy but was well regarded for her acting skills and talents. She continued: “Men get off far more easily from s*x tapes,” and revealed we’ll never know for sure if Anderson would have got there, but then it’s clear the s*x tape did her career lasting damage. Jones doesn’t also believe society has changed since the 1990s regarding double standards.

The resemblance of Lily James to Pamela Anderson was stunning when Hulu released images of “Pam & Tommy.

Erin Simkin/Hulu via AP

Here’s Sebastian Stan and Tommy Lee.

Erin Simkin/Hulu via AP

She stated: “I think some women now are able to take control of a sex tape and in some ways, benefit from it. My guess with Kim Kardashian is that she would still say she would prefer the s*x tape to have never existed.” Dr. Jones said the work the SKIMS founder and her family had to do to turn her sex tape into a positive if they did indeed manage to do that was immense, and most women don’t have those sorts of resources. 

Lily James portrays Pamela Anderson, who academics claim is the real victim of the leaked s*x tape.

Erica Parise/Hulu

The limited series chronicles the brief four-day courtship between the “Baywatch” actress and the Mötley Crüe drummer before they wed in 1995. 

She insisted some actresses were often forced to tread an almost impossibly fine line where they’re both lauded for being sexy and shamed. She claimed: “It’s part of the incredible hypocrisy around sexuality and women’s bodies.” While Anderson’s career might have suffered due to the sex tape, Music Writer and Critic Bernard Zuel have said it’s the opposite effect for Tommy Lee. 

Sebastian Stan depicts Tommy Lee, whose reputation was enhanced by the s*x tape.

Erin Simkin/Hulu

Sebastian Stan and Lily James are the main characters in Hulu’s new series “Pam and Tommy.”

“I’d like to say I don’t remember because I was too young, but sadly, I do remember it,” Bernard said of the furor surrounding the s*x tape. He added that part of the reason the s*x video was good for Lee’s reputation was that he was depicted with his wife and not a conquest. “You’re playing that kind of music with a reputation for being a band that was extremely active sexually.”

Critic Bernard Zuel said part of the reason the s*x video was good for Lee’s reputation was that he was depicted with his wife and not a conquest.


As with the series, Dr. Jones claimed that she would feel Anderson was being exploited somehow if it weren’t already such a well-known story.


“Then what you want is to either have people talk about you being a stud or talk about you being a stud with significant appendage. And what more could you ask for than Tommy Lee, who wasn’t known for doing much except playing drums, having more than two sticks in his hands. For Tommy Lee to have, without doubt, on-screen – and nobody could miss it – the most famous d*ck in rock at the time was good for his reputation in certain quarters, where that kind of measurement mattered.”

Seth Rogan plays Rand Gauthier, a contractor who stole a private sex tape belonging to Tommy Lee.

Kelsey McNeal/Hulu

As with the series, Dr. Jones claimed if it weren’t already such a well-known story, she would feel Anderson was being exploited in some way by it, but given it’s already so public, there’s merit in telling the story with a bit of hindsight and a more modern spin to it. However, featured on the series include Motley Crue Drummer Tommy Lee {Sebastian Stan} and Seth Rogan plays the disgruntled contractor who stole the tape from the couple’s home and leaked it to the world, initially on VHS before it hit the internet.

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