“Social media has been gasoline on the fire that is MLM’s”
In the early days of this new fad known as social media, people were selling things with the help of videos and live streaming. In 2012, DeAnne Brady and her husband Mark Stidham, started LuLaRoe, a women’s clothing company known mostly for selling novelty leggings. Thanks to facebook, instagram, and a terrible economy, this company was able to recruit thousands of women to sell these simple articles of clothing online. Unfortunately, what these women didn’t know, was that getting scammed and gaslit by this Mormon Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker.
LulaRoe would go on to create a culture of toxic positivity in order to convince their ’employees’ that if they work hard and never let a negative thought enter their minds, that they can one day become as rich as they are. Eventually, some of the women start realizing that they aren’t making any money, the product quality is less than perfect and some are falling further and further into debt while still drinking the kool-aid because how could this sweet woman be lying to them.
It’s hard to listen to the former ’employees’ and not want to say “I told you so”. Professionals are brought in to help explain why this keeps happening to people. Pyramid schemes aren’t anything new, but people still fall for them. This movie doesn’t talk down or make fun of the victims and their stories but shows how easy it is for people to trust one another if they tell them that they can have everything they’ve ever wanted if they just believe hard enough in hard work.
Executive producer Martha Shane takes us down a bright, garishly colored spandex rabbit hole deep into the land of the blonde queen who exploited thousands of desperate (mostly) white women who just wanted to make some extra money. They fell hook, line and sinker for a fast talking, snake oil sales woman whose promises of wealth and positive thinking will lead them to victory over big box stores.
George Carlin was right, they call it the “American dream” because you have to be asleep to believe it.
Reviewed December 12, 2021 (screener provided by publicist). Rating: TBC.
PRODUCTION: A Discovery+ release of a Buzzfeed Studios & Left/Right production. Producer: Kevin Vargas. Executive Producers: Ken Druckerman, Richard Alan Reid, Pete Ross, Martha Shane, Charlotte Simms, Banks Tarver & Karolina Waclawiak.