Jennifer Lopez stars in Hustlers, a female-led heist film where strippers work together to take money from Wall Street brokers. The movie is a box-office hit and Lopez has earned Oscar buzz for her performance. The characters in the movie are based on real-life counterparts. So what does the inspiration for Lopez’s character, Ramona, think of Hustlers?
Samantha Barbash is not happy about her life story in ‘Hustlers’
Samantha Barbash is the stripper who is the basis of Lopez’s character, Ramona. In an interview with TMZ, she revealed she is not happy with the movie and that she never consented to her life story being used.
“It’s about my life, they pretty much basically stole my story, I wouldn’t sign my rights away,” she said. “I wasn’t giving up my TV and film rights, I mean, yea, my film and TV rights for peanuts. J-Lo doesn’t work for free, why would I? I’m a business woman.”
Producers of the film reached out to Barbash, but she did not consider their efforts to be professional.
“The producer hit up my lawyer, but it was a joke, I don’t even wanna embarrass them of what they thought,” she said. “Put it this way, I have Hermes bags that cost more than what they wanted to give me.”
Samantha Barbash did not like how Jennifer Lopez portrayed her in ‘Hustlers’
Barbash did not only have a problem with producers of the film, she also did not appreciate Lopez’s portrayal.
“She basically defamed my character,” she said. “Which I was disgusted as a mother, there’s a part that she’s cooking drugs in a stove with her daughter there. First of all, that’s just not an accurate movie.”
Barbash claims the movie was not accurate when portraying her career.
“People are going to see the movie because J-Lo’s on a stripper pole,” she said. “I don’t even know how to do a trick, I’ve never been on a stripper pole like that in my life.”
Barbash also did not appreciate that Lopez did not reach out to her about the role.
“J-Lo portrayed me, so she didn’t even reach out to the woman that she’s portraying. I think that’s a little, kind of, degrading, as an actress,” Barbash said.
The film crew for ‘Hustlers’ was accused of exploiting sex workers
While the movie is a financial hit, the film crew for Hustlers was accused of exploiting sex workers while filming the movie. The movie filmed at the Queens-based gentleman’s club, Show Palace NYC, for almost an entire week. The crew allegedly did not pay any of the dancers for losing a week’s worth of pay and commission.
“this is true, i work at where they filmed and was out of commission the whole week, no compensation of any kind…,” wrote a Twitter user.
“I’m so tired of seeing sexwork in the media being glamorized and praised but ACTUAL sexworkers are always shadowbanned, deactivated on social media, shut out of payment apps, experience discrimination while traveling, experience judgment everyday, etc #TWEETYOURHUSTLE,” wrote another.