When made right, a movie can inspire a person to want to emulate the behavior seen in said film, and most of the time that can be a wonderful thing. Of course, there are instances where that sort of inspiration is more of a negative experience, proving the point that no matter how balanced a feature is in presenting its subject matter, the audience will always take what they feel is the true message of the film to heart. In the case of one financial management firm in New York, that inspirational film was The Wolf Of Wall Street, and the results were less than pleasant.
The New York Post has run a story covering the allegations that The deVere Group, an independent financial advisement firm, was being groomed to follow in the steps of Jordan Belfort's model of hedonistic living, as seen in Martin Scorsese's controversial Academy Award nominee from 2013. The accusations against the company ranged from behaviors that displayed, "sexual harassment and drug and alcohol use in the workplace," and came from Phillipa Okoye – the sole female employee in the Manhattan office of The deVere Group, who is currently suing for damages after supposedly being demoted and fired for not playing ball.
The most interesting part about office big wig Benjamin Anderson's alleged choice of inspirational messages is that if he'd bothered to watch the film in its entirety, The Wolf Of Wall Street is meant to be a cautionary tale of what a life of such debauchery and ignorance of social mores will get you. Sure, the scenes where Jordan Belfort runs down what type of prostitutes the office brings in or the drug regimen that keeps him going throughout the day are fun to watch, and there's no denying or shaming that fact.
But are those same segments meant to be an instructional manual for how to keep an office of today's intense business standards afloat? Most certainly not. If a movie is too uncomfortable to watch with your parents, it's probably a model for office behavior. Again, though, the audience determines the message they take out of a film, and Anderson apparently has a copy of the film that's trimmed to an hour and a half of Jordon Belfort getting his habits on and making a lot of money, before attempting to sell a pen to an captive Australian audience.
While these allegations may sound a bit too far-fetched to be true, there's no proof on either side of the equation that sways the case to one side or the other. All that can perhaps be said is that The Wolf Of Wall Street is, in the wrong hands, a horrible message to build a company or a life around.
Martin Scorsese's cut of The Wolf Of Wall Street is currently available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
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