In the primary 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 attempting 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.
Ahead, we break down the character and the true tales that impressed him.
Was Otis the Chippendales Dancer a Real Person?
It would not seem that there was a real Chippendales dancer named Otis. Instead, the character’s story in “Welcome to Chippendales” appears to be primarily based on the tales of actual Chippendales dancers, particularly one particularly: Hodari Sababu — who, in accordance to him, was the one Black dancer at Chippendales.
In March 2021, Sababu spoke to Pineapple Street’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 frolicked in Steve’s workplace studying how to run a enterprise. “I had been to school and all that, and I had different aspirations,” Sababu defined on the podcast. “You know, 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 understand, we might speak, and he appreciated me. So he mentioned, ‘Look, effectively, simply kinda hang around, and I’ll present you ways to negotiate offers. I’ll present you the enterprise facet.'”
In actual life, Sababu took the teachings he discovered from Steve and utilized them to opening an all-Black strip membership referred to as “Lady Killers,” however earlier than then, like Otis, he additionally handled racism. “It was a degree of competition as a result of Banerjee felt that he did not need multiple Black man within the membership,” Sababu shared on the “Welcome to Your Fantasy” podcast. He mentioned Steve advised him he needed a “elegant” membership that catered to white ladies, so that they could not have multiple Black worker. Subabu additionally famous that white ladies would pay him to have intercourse with them after the present.
Additionally, 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 planet. His, Steve’s pondering was, ‘Well, I am unable to promote calendars down South if for 30 days they obtained 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 the whole lot else. I did greeting playing cards, I did the air fresheners, I did that. But 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 referred to as a neighborhood church to warn them about Chippendales so they might come picket exterior, drumming up press for the membership. That second is dramatized within the collection with Otis watching.
“Welcome to Chippendales” releases new episodes on Tuesdays on Hulu.