Lifetime has no shortage of original movies that feature troubled teens or that tackle real-life issues. Whether the issue at hand is teen pregnancy, bullying, or suicide, the network has an interesting way of pulling back the curtain and showing what's going on in high school today. Sticking to this formula, Lifetime is now venturing into the digital sex industry with their latest original film Web Cam Girls, premiering on Dec. 30. The storylines for Lifetime movies are occasionally ripped from news headlines, which begs the question, but Web Cam Girls is not based on a true story.
While this particular movie is not based on a true story, the concept of camming isn't a new concept. In fact, women and men have been doing it for years. Sometimes web cam models perform sexual acts online, including stripping, through live webcam footage in exchange for money, goods, or just clicks and views. One of Canada's top cam performers, Caitie Rage — who started camming back in 2010 — revealed in an interview with Elite Daily that she makes upwards $4,000 per month for the work. But while attitudes towards towards sex workers and adult entertainment are shifting, there's still danger surrounding the industry — particularly when it pertains to women and children, which is what Lifetime's Web Cam Girls will delve into.
The fictional tale follows two 17-year-old high school seniors, one of which turns up missing after her side hustle goes sideways. Against her advice, Alex's (Sedona Legge) cousin Carolyn (Lorynn York) has been "camming" for extra cash, and Alex suspects she broke their rules and met one of her clients, per the synopsis on Lifetime. Initially no one believes a word of what Alex says, so it's up to her to track down the person responsible for the kidnapping of her cousin and other "web cam girls." Luckily, Alex is eventually aided by her mom and Carolyn's aunt Rachel (Arianna Zucker).
In addition to exposing the dark side of the sex industry, the Lifetime original film is also about "children struggling to find themselves" and how out of the loop their parents are once the children finally do, according to the film's writer Stephen Romano. On his personal blog Romano shared behind-the-scenes info about Web Cam Girls and how it came to be, which is his first ever full-length feature film. According to Romano, there are also plenty of Easter eggs hidden throughout Web Cam Girls that the audience "will probably never notice," but that were thrown in just for fun. One "egg" is a tribute to '70s dystopian crime film A Clockwork Orange, as Web Cam Girls' Alex is named after the former's main character.
Zucker — who rose to fame starring in the daytime soap Days of Our Lives — spoke with the Everett Herald about the importance of a film like Web Cam Girls. “When I first heard about this movie I didn’t know [camming] really happened,” Zucker told the publication. “It was an exciting movie to do because this is something we need to put forward. It is a good thriller, but in light of what is going on in this day and age, it is a good time for it to come out."
The actor went on to praise her mother for teaching her how to protect herself as a young woman. According to Zucker, this practice is one she strives to pass along to other women through her work and she hopes that Web Cam Girls will be a "cautionary tale that will at least make some young women think twice before taking such a risk."
Per Blue Corona, 81% of Americans are on social media sites like Facebook, which allow live streaming. So though Web Cam Girls is not based on specific true story, it's sure to touch on issues and situations that young adults in real life can identify with and learn from.