Why Is It So Hard To Make a Movie About Scamming Men?

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One of the most buzzed-about movies this fall, Hustlers, has an all-star cast, a soundtrack that bangs and scamming strippers. It seems like an inevitable hit. So why did Hollywood need convincing to make it?

Hustlers are based on Jessica Pressler’s 2015 New York article “The Hustlers at Scores,” about a group of real strippers who drugged Wall Street guys and then ran up charges on their credit cards. Gloria Sanchez Productions brought the rights, but it turns out that persuading rich white men to make a movie about other rich white men being scammed wasn’t easy.

“I’d literally stand at the front of rooms with white men and try to get them to open their wallets,” says the movies’ writer-director Lorene Scafaria. “I think we’ve all danced for the money a little bit.” While Scafaria’s dance didn’t involve getting upside down on a pole like Jennifer Lopez’s character in the movie, it was no less an impressive feast.

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