Channing Tatum's Stripper Friends Claim 'Magic Mike' Stole Their Stories, Best Erotic Dances

June 25, 2012


This is Magic Mike. OR IS IT??? Such is the heavy question asked by aging stripper Thomas "Awesome" Austin.

Awesome--who came forward with fellow dancer London Steele to thrust his story at TMZ--claims the stories, names, and erotic chair maneuvers of Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike are not Channing Tatum's own. As some of the rare few to see a Magic Mike promo and think, "God, that is so me," he and his "brotherhood" of male strippers "feel betrayed" they were not included in the upcoming film, and Awesome even goes so far as to claim that the film's stripper moves and title were, respectively, stolen from his own catalogue of dry humps and occult-inspired nicknames, saying he invented "The Hot Seat" (apparently a really sexy move featured in a preview) and coined the pseudonym "Magic Mike" for another dancer who was probably named "Mike" rather than "Channing." Awesome has little in terms of awesome evidence for his assertions, but did offer the bold proof, "[Tatum] only danced for 4 months. How many events could have happened to him?" Because wouldn't it probably take a LIFETIME of stripping to peel off enough layers of psyche and fireman uniform to make a feature-length movie?

But Tatum has been quick to refute Awesome's claims of intellectual/sensual property theft. At a press junket on Saturday, he told the press:

"Look, there's nothing that's factual in this whole movie other than that I was an 18-year-old kid and went into this world and I dropped out of college from playing football and was living on my sister's couch. There's not one character that I took from my real life; this is just a world that I went into, and I had a perspective on. And we created everything from a fictional place.

"I don't want to say anything bad about them because they're part of the reason why I think this world is so interesting. They're very interesting, intriguing and bizarre characters, and I'm thankful for weird people out there. They're some of the most creative people."

But are they creative enough to have conceived whatever The Hot Seat is? That's a question that can likely only be answered in a messy trial that will require someone to approach the bar and wipe it down with some Lysol after a muscular dude Hot Sits on it.

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