Pamela Anderson really has been through Hell and back, a story which she is finally able to share in her own words after so many have tried to steal it from her over the years. The actress has two major projects premiering on January 31—Netflix documentary Pamela, a love story and memoir Love, Pamela—in which she reclaims her own life story from the hands of men like those involved with recent Hulu hit Pam & Tommy, which dramatized the saga of her leaked sex tape and marriage to ex-husband Tommy Lee all without her consent.
In a recent Variety interview centered around her upcoming projects, Anderson opened up about yet another slight she was forced to endure earlier in her career. While Anderson was the face of Baywatch in many ways, she was reportedly never properly compensated for her appearances. When the show began, she was paid just $1,500 per episode, a sum which did increase to $300,000 by the end of her run but still pales in comparison to what David Hasselhoff was earning for the same amount of screen time. (Hasselhoff also has an ownership stake in the show that is still paying dividends thanks to a remastering by Prime Video.)
“The producers of Baywatch made a fortune,” Anderson said. “I just didn’t have the representation back then. Or the know-how. You don’t realize when you’re doing a TV show that it’s going to be that popular, so you kind of sign your life away.”
Perhaps most insultingly, however, the producers doubled down in 2017 around the Baywatch movie, when they reportedly asked Anderson to make a cameo in for free. Not only did they have the gall to ask in the first place, but they continued to hound her and call nonstop even when she initially refused.
“It was becoming really, really awful,” Anderson said. “They said they wanted me to do it as a favor. I said, ‘I do favors for animals, not for Paramount.’ There was just so much bullying to do it. They wanted me to do it for free, as an homage or something. I said, ‘Come on, guys. I mean, really?’”
Eventually, Anderson gave in and made a brief, wordless appearance in the film, about which she now has “no complaints.”
Anderson’s son Brandon Thomas Lee, however, thinks his mom deserves much more. “She was definitely being taken advantage of. And it still feels weird how there hasn’t been some sort of discussion with Amazon or the Baywatch producers to get her her fair share,” he told Variety.
Pamela, a love story premieres January 31 on Netflix.