Fact Check on the New Hulu Drama

on Hulu Welcome to the Chippendales undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises TV has to offer this year. Following Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani), the show began as an exciting underdog story about an Indian immigrant who goes on to create one of the most famous establishments in the world. But then, as Chippendales becomes more and more of a success, the show metamorphoses into a stranger-than-fiction story of arson, racketeering, and murder – just to scratch the surface.

Is this story really stranger than fiction? Below, we examine the contents of Chippendales, episode by episode, breaking down what actually happened, and what was created – or completely created – for the series. We will update this post weekly as each new episode begins.

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers up to Welcome to Chippendales Episode 8, “Paper is Paper.”]

Episode 1: “An Elegant, Exclusive Atmosphere”

Welcome to the Chippendales (Hulu)

Is “Destiny II” a Real Place?

Yes. It’s true that Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee used the money he saved from working at a Mobil station to open his own club called Destiny II. As seen in Welcome to the Chippendaleshe originally turned the space into a backgammon club, which failed to gain traction.

Although it is true that Steve later turned Destiny II into Chippendales, it is not entirely true that he thought of the idea for the all-male strip tease himself. The idea actually came a part of the bottom advises club promoter Paul Sniderwho, of Chippendalesdescribed by Dan Stevens as initially resistant to the idea because he doesn’t think that women want to see men undress.

Also abandoned by Chippendales is the fact that there are other minds behind the club besides Banerjee, Snider, and Snider’s girlfriend, Playboy bunny Dorothy Stratten (played in the series by Nicola Peltz Beckham). Banerjee had a real-life business partner, Bruce Nahin, whom he bought out in Destiny II. Nahin is a big part at the start of the Chippendales, and even advised the male dancers to pour the customers drinks and light their cigarettes.

Who Created the Iconic Chippendales Look?

on Welcome to the Chippendales, Playboy bunny Dorothy Stratten came up with the iconic look of Chippendales dancers: cuffs and collars. According to A&E’s four-part documentary Secrets of the Chippendales Murdershis contribution was not faked for the Hulu show.

Stratten’s time at Playboy inspired him to propose the implementation of accessories, and Playboy tycoon Hugh Hefner approved the club’s use of his trademark. Chippendales’ former creative director Eric Gilbert explained that “Hefner gave the greatest gift to Steve Banerjee by allowing him to take the cuffs and collar trademark and make it the Chippendales look.”

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