This will be one of the strangest stories you’ll read in recent memory (as it’s also one of the strangest stories we’ve had to write in recent memory). Two men have gone public with accusations that 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike star Channing Tatum has stolen key aspects of their lives as male dancers when putting together the Mike story – which Steven Soderbergh directs.
The accusations put Tatum on the defensive during a recent press weekend in Los Angeles. “Those guys have been trying to make money off of me since I got into this business,” Tatum tells the Hollywood Reporter.
By “those guys,” Tatum means Thomas "Awesome" Austin and London Steele, Tampa, Florida strippers who worked with the G.I. Joe star back in the day. The duo claim that Tatum stole “The Hot Seat,” one of their signature dance moves, and that they came up with nickname “Magic Mike” long before Soderbergh decided to make it the title of his movie.
Tatum took the high road … well, as high of a road as one can take when talking about backstabbing male strippers.
“Look, there’s nothing that’s factual in this whole movie other than that I was an 18-year-old kid and went into this world and I dropped out of college from playing football and was living on my sister’s couch. There’s not one character that I took from my real life; this is just a world that I went into, and I had a perspective on. And we created everything from a fictional place.
He went on to say, "I don’t want to say anything bad about them because they’re part of the reason why I think this world is so interesting."
Will it be a creative movie? It certainly has created a passionate movement on Twitter among female film writers who are dying to see Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Rodriquez, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer shake their goods when Magic Mike hits theaters. As for the real “father” of the “Hot Seat?” We may never know.