Not Okay: Warning: The following story contains spoilers.]
Caroline Calloway, a viral influencer and alleged scammer, appears in Quinn Shephard's funny internet satire Not Okay, which isn't a surprise: Shephard, a figuratively canceled Instagram personality (and literally canceled author), repeatedly praised her participation in the Hulu film with tweets and retweets (of course!) for all manner of marketing materials, including the teaser that features Calloway as, well, herself.
The film's shrewd cast is definite given the subject matter. Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch) is followed as she lies her way to viral fame and must confront the consequences of her own scam. Calloway is well-known to a certain group of internet enthusiasts who will enjoy Shephards' (very smart) film.
Shephard sifted out a wide net when it came to locating actual canceled internet stars for a crucial moment, in which Danni attends a scammers support group.
Shephard told IndieWire that initially the group was a group of individuals who had been shamed and canceled online. We have FaceTimed with so many canceled people who almost did this film. Somebody would agree, but then their rep would say, Ooh, I don't know what you mean.'
Calloway was always on the mind, according to Shephard, because at the time I was writing the story, it was about to be the summer of scams. She also represents everything Danni desires to be, in that she is a writer but also an influencer. Thats Dannis mental mashup.
The filmmaker claimed that while some objected to Shephards' ideas, this was never the case with Calloway. (IndieWire reached out to Calloway on Instagram, appropriately enough, but did not receive a response.)
Shephard quickly met Calloway for a touching evening in which they discussed Calloways' experiences, How it was reflected in Shephards' film, and the general unrest of internet culture. Calloway had the role (of herself) even before the conversation began, but her insights appealed to Shephard.
After the dinner, she said, she was probably the most hungover I've ever been in my entire life. We chatted about the internet. It was enticing to hear from her side what she went through. It's awful to be a woman who the internet piles on and tears apart for making some mistakes. The way that people like to watch women suffer is part of this story.
Were we wrong to assume Danni, again, does not deserve to be punished, according to Shephard. Is destroying a woman's life, doxxing her, or sending her rape threats the answer?
Not Okay is now streaming on Hulu.