The film casts a diverse set of actors including Cardi B, Lizzo, Julia Stiles and Constance Wu and focuses on former strip club workers reclaiming their power to “turn the tables on their Wall Street clients” as IMBD states.
However, for Lopez to keep the film authentic, she was filming in a strip club located in Long Island City, New York, called the Show Palace. Although the film was meant to inspire and break stereotypes of strip club employees as well as boost rights for sex workers, the dancers who were out of work for a week allege they were not compensated for lost wages for the time the club was closed during filming, according to Vice News. Additionally, Vice reports that fewer than three dancers were cast to appear in the film as extras.
“One dancer said she lost thousands of dollars as a result,” Vice wrote. “Sex work advocates say that even though dancers are independent contractors who aren’t legally owed wages, the club still should have paid them.”
Real sex workers lost thousands of dollars due to a movie…about sex workers. https://t.co/vk2iUvyoVt
— VICE (@VICE) September 19, 2019
As a result, the film producers and the club have received backlash on social media for not compensating the dancers’ lost wages.
One Twitter user caseyonfilm wrote, “All this Hustlers stuff is 100% ridiculous and horribly exploitative but to blame it all on JLo doesn’t solve any problems. It’s all so much bigger than her. If you’re going to blamer her, blame Lorene and all the producers and the owner of Show Palace.”
Another user, ratedar, wrote “this is between the dancers and Show Palace, not the Hustlers film crew or cast.”
However, not everyone was supportive of those who claimed to have lost out on wages due to the filming in a strip club.
Twitter user Jamesbjg wrote, “If you can make 2-4K in five days…your good, homie. Shut up and get back to work.”
User wright_na wrote, “maybe when they film the sequel they’ll lost out on $3,000-5,000 because strip clubs will be slightly more mainstream because of this movie lol.”
The film has seen commercial success so far since its release and many people are still going and stating the film’s groundbreaking, despite the dancer’s claims of lost wages.