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‘Operation Varsity Blues,’ Netflix Documentary on College Admissions Scandal, Debuting in March

QUALITY REPEATMandatory Credit: Photo by KATHERINE
KATHERINE TAYLOR/EPA-EFE/Shutter

A new Netflix documentary will pull back the curtain on the notorious college admissions bribery scandal that ensnared Hollywood celebrities, financiers and other members of the monied elite.

Operation Varsity Blues,” directed by Chris Smith, will debut on the streaming service on March 17, 2021. The film promises to provide a deep dive into the methods used by Rick Singer to get the children of his wealthy clients into top schools. These schemes included everything from enabling kids to cheat on their college admissions tests to falsifying sports credentials or bribing school officials.

“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli and TPG Growth founder Bill McGlashan were among Singer’s clients. When the scandal erupted in 2019, it became front page news. Not only did it involve household names, but it also illustrated the massive gap between the haves and have nots and the ways that members of the one percent had been able to effectively game the system.

Smith has been a crack chronicler of recent scandals and outsized personalities. He directed “Fyre,” a look at Billy McFarland, the hustler behind the disastrous Fyre Festival. “Operation Varsity Blues” reunites Smith with Jon Karmen, who produced that documentary. Smith also executive produced “Tiger King,” which became a sensation for Netflix when it aired in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Matthew Modine (“Full Metal Jacket”) will star as Singer. The filmmakers say they will use a combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients.

Watch a teaser trailer for the doc below: