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The Grifters Have Come for Your TV

It’s scammin’ season.

By Jackson McHenry | 25 February 2022

VULTURE — You’ll make it nowhere in America unless you’re running a scheme, at least according to every other show airing now through spring. Perhaps catching up to collective disillusionment in the promises of capitalism — especially those shilled by start-ups in Silicon Valley — TV and streaming networks are putting out competing series based on real-life people who talked their way into the wallets of the powerful … and eventually got caught. From real-estate empires to sham blood-testing apparatuses, which scheme is which, who got the furthest, who was sued, and who was running the scummiest scam? We’re here to help.

Scummy

‘WeCrashed’

Premiering: March 18 on AppleTV+
The scum: Adam and Rebekah Neumann, played by Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway 

Their crap: Taking advantage of cheap postrecession real-estate prices, Neumann embarked on a grand mission to revolutionize office culture as we once knew it by leasing co-working spaces with his company WeWork and sugarcoating them with millennial branding (boundless amenities like fitness classes, unlimited alcohol, and all the … works). His wife and co-founder, Rebekah, a onetime aspiring actor who controversially said in 2018 a woman’s calling is to support her man, pioneered many of its more outlandish ventures, including WeGrow, a school for kids 2 to 12. Riding high on big talk and big spending, WeWork’s valuation rose to $47 billion in 2019. It became the biggest private office tenant in Manhattan. […]

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