Within the first 4 episodes of “Welcome to Chippendales,” the titular membership, owned by Steve Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani), solely has one Black dancer: Otis, performed by Quentin Plair. The present depicts him coping with racism from prospects and Steve himself, all whereas making an attempt to make a dwelling in Nineteen Eighties Los Angeles. His points working at Chippendales come to a head in episode three, which premiered on Nov. 29 on Hulu.
Forward, we break down the character and the true tales that impressed him.
Was Otis the Chippendales Dancer a Actual Individual?
It does not seem that there was an actual Chippendales dancer named Otis. As a substitute, the character’s story in “Welcome to Chippendales” appears to be primarily based on the tales of actual Chippendales dancers, particularly one specifically: Hodari Sababu — who, in line with him, was the one Black dancer at Chippendales.
In March 2021, Sababu spoke to Pineapple Road’s “Welcome to Your Fantasy” podcast about his experiences on the membership, the place he additionally answered telephones and filed paperwork. Sababu was a dancer within the mid-’80s, and, just like the fictional Otis, he hung out in Steve’s workplace studying how one can run a enterprise. “I had been to varsity and all that, and I had different aspirations,” Sababu defined on the podcast. “You realize, I used to go [to Steve’s office] in the course of the day, simply to hang around as a result of I had nothing else to do. And you already know, we might discuss, and he appreciated me. So he mentioned, ‘Look, nicely, simply kinda hang around, and I am going to present you how one can negotiate offers. I am going to present you the enterprise aspect.'”
In actual life, Sababu took the teachings he discovered from Steve and utilized them to opening an all-Black strip membership known as “Girl Killers,” however earlier than then, like Otis, he additionally handled racism. “It was some extent of rivalry as a result of Banerjee felt that he did not need a couple of Black man within the membership,” Sababu shared on the “Welcome to Your Fantasy” podcast. He mentioned Steve instructed him he needed a “stylish” membership that catered to white girls, in order that they could not have a couple of Black worker. Subabu additionally famous that white girls would pay him to have intercourse with them after the present.
Moreover, Subabu mentioned he was excluded from Chippendales’ well-known calendars. “I could not get within the calendar. The Chippendales calendar, which was the hugest calendar on the earth. His, Steve’s pondering was, ‘Effectively, I am unable to promote calendars down South if for 30 days they bought some Black man up on the partitions. Some white lady has some Black man on the wall. I am unable to put Black guys in my calendar,'” he defined. “I did all the things else. I did greeting playing cards, I did the air fresheners, I did that. However I could not do the calendar.”
Sababu’s different real-life occasions additionally resemble Otis’s story in “Welcome to Chippendales.” On the podcast, Sababu recalled a time when Steve known as an area church to warn them about Chippendales so they’d come picket outdoors, drumming up press for the membership. That second is dramatized within the sequence with Otis watching.
“Welcome to Chippendales” releases new episodes on Tuesdays on Hulu.