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How Accurate Are Rand's Attempts To Sell Pam & Tommy's Tape In Episode 3?

In Hulu's "Pam & Tommy," it takes disgruntled carpenter Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen) some time to figure out he has struck gold when he locates a HI8 video cassette tape in the stolen safe of Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) and Pamela Anderson (Lily James). Though he is quick to celebrate his other discoveries (including a variety of weapons and family photos), he is notably guarded about the home video tape. However, it doesn't him long to see dollar signs once he and Milton "Uncle Miltie" Ingley (Nick Offerman) press play and realize exactly what material is on it.

In Episode 3 ("Jane Fonda"), Rand and Miltie visit a plethora of different porn studios and distributors in search of a potential buyer. In a montage, the duo visit the offices of Vivid Entertainment, All Channel Films, New Sensations, and Naughty Time Films. During each meeting, they are asked for signed releases from the "performers," something the stars of the film obviously did not sign. Much to Rand and Miltie's dismay, they are repeatedly told to get lost because the studio heads fear a costly lawsuit. While all seem initially interested, not one distributor is willing to go into business without signed releases. 

However, this all changes when Miltie introduces Rand to Louis "Butchie" Peraino (Andrew Dice Clay), one of the producers behind the 1972 pornographic film "Deep Throat" and a man with close connections to organized crime. After some consideration, Rand dramatically accepts a financing offer from Butchie that will help the trio distribute the tape and earn a sizable profit in a semi-anonymous fashion.

Of course, like any Hollywood production, certain creative licenses have been taken with this series. So, just how much of this part of the story is actually true?

Very accurate

Much of "Pam & Tommy" is based on an in-depth Rolling Stone article written by Amanda Chicago Lewis in 2014. In the piece, Lewis details the journey of Anderson and Lee's sex tape, including its inception, theft, and eventual wide release. Based on quotes used throughout it, the piece appears to be widely sourced back to the real-life Rand Gauthier. Ingley died in 2006 so, for much of the story after the theft, Gauthier is really the only semi-reliable source at this point. If we assume Gauthier is a reliable source, this part of the story seems fairly accurate.

According to Gauthier, Ingley led most of the operation after the tape was stolen, just as is portrayed in the series. "Milton was the king of wheeling and dealing," Gauthier told Rolling Stone in 2014. "He knew how to make a nickel into two dollars. Always schmoozing." Reportedly, Gauthier and Ingley offered the tape to Ron Jeremy and a number of other big shots in porn, all of whom declined for the same reason. Jeremy confirmed this to Rolling Stone, saying, "Porn was so strict and scary back in those days. If you're fu**ing, you better believe you gotta have a release."

As occurs in Episode 3 ("Jane Fonda"), Gauthier and Ingley's desperation eventually led them to make a deal with Louis "Butchie" Peraino. Rolling Stone indicates that the real-life Peraino was also somewhat hesitant to touch the tape, fearing the reach of law enforcement. Peraino's deal with Ingley and Gauthier (a $50,000 loan in exchange for interest and a share of the sales) offered him the opportunity to keep a safe distance, while also maintaining the possibility of a nice reward (via Rolling Stone).

New episodes of "Pam & Tommy" drop every Wednesday on Hulu.