‘Dopesick’ Author Beth Macy Had a Cameo in This 1 Episode of the Hulu Series

The Hulu drama, Dopesick, was created by Danny Strong based on the nonfiction book by author Beth Macy. Typically when authors sell the screen rights to their book, they do not have much more involvement. However, the author of Dopesick went on to become an executive producer of the series. Plus, she made a cameo in one of the episodes, and you probably didn’t even notice.

'Dopesick' cast member Rosario Dawson pointing at the author that the Hulu series is based on, Beth Macy
‘Dopesick’ star Rosario Dawson and author Beth Macy | Shannon Finney/Getty Images

‘Dopesick’: Beth Macy played a significant role in the creation of the Hulu series

Macy did not simply sell the screen rights to her book to creator Danny Strong. He valued her input and even allowed the Dopesick author to discuss casting on the Hulu series. Although Macy and Strong joke about whether they liked each other before working on the series, the pair are very close now. Macy became an integral part of the dramatization of her book.

RELATED: ‘Dopesick’: Is Michael Keaton’s Dr. Samuel Finnix Character Based on a Real Person?

“Beth Macy was a wonderful member of the Dopesick team,” Strong told TheWrap. “She was in the writer’s room as our resident expert and a passionate advocate for shooting the show in her home state of Virginia. I absolutely adore Beth and am so thrilled she joined us on this journey to tell this important story.”

The ‘Dopesick’ author had a cameo in episode 3

In Dopesick Episode 3, the creators show how Purdue Pharma thoroughly infiltrated the medical community. The Appalachian Pain Society insists that OxyContin isn’t addictive. However, little do the doctors prescribing the opioid know that Purdue fully funds the society. Then, in seminars, medical experts from the Journal of Pain explain that pain is now “the 5th vital sign.” 

Dopesick cast member Michael Keaton as Dr. Samuel Finnix in 'Dopesick.
‘Dopesick’ Michael Keaton | Gene Page/Hulu

RELATED: ‘Dopesick’ Episode 4 ‘Pseudo-Addiction’ Recap — Dr. Samuel Finnix Sinks Deeper

Author Beth Macy appears in Dopesick Episode 3 as Barbara Mullins. She portrays one of the medical experts on the Journal of Pain editorial board. She sits on a small stage with three others and speaks to the local community about addictive drugs.

“Thank y’all for having me here tonight,” she begins. “Opioid abuse is certainly growing, but it’s important to distinguish between abusers and legitimate pain patients who need these medicines.”

Is ‘Dopesick’ a true story?

The 8-part Hulu series, Dopesick, is based on author Beth Macy’s nonfiction book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America. As an executive producer on the series, Macy ensured that the portrayal of the opioid epidemic in America was accurate. The series creator Danny Strong also felt strongly about keeping the story’s roots as accurate as possible. That’s part of the reason why the Dopesick cast filmed in rural Virginia. Clifton Forge became the fictional town of Finch Creek, Virginia.

Rick Mountcastle and Randy search for the Porter Jick study in 'Dopesick'
‘Dopesick’: Peter Sarsgaard and John Hoogenakker | Gene Page/Hulu

RELATED: ‘Dopesick’ Episode 6 ‘Hammer the Abusers’ Recap — Bridget Finally Gets a Win

According to the CDC, prescription opioid-related overdose deaths did increase drastically from 1999 to 2010 in the United States. That increase parallels the increase in prescribing opioids in the country, according to the findings. In Dopesick, the creators portray how Purdue Pharma ensured doctors like Samuel Finnix (portrayed by Michael Keaton) prescribed the drug.

In August 2021, The New York Times reported Richard Sackler (portrayed by Michael Stuhlbarg) claimed no responsibility for the opioid epidemic in America. However, by that time, Purdue pleaded guilty twice to federal criminal charges regarding the sales and marketing of OxyContin. The story of the opioid epidemic in the United States is devastatingly accurate in Dopesick