Movie Reviews

Clipped Episode 4 True Story: What The Show Changes


  • Clipped captures the essence of the Donald Sterling scandal with mostly accurate details throughout its episodes.
  • The series delves into V. Stiviano’s unusual relationship with Sterling and her quest for fame and image in a dramatized manner.
  • Clipped sheds light on Elgin Baylor’s lawsuit against the NBA and Sterling, giving him the spotlight he deserves.

After the release of the first three episodes of Clipped, the FX/Hulu series continues to portray a mostly accurate depiction of the notorious Donald Sterling scandal. The series chronicles the bizarre and racist-fueled controversy that made headlines during the NBA Playoffs in late April 2014 as the Los Angeles Clippers battled the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the postseason. A tape of Sterling, who previously owned the Clippers for decades along with his wife Shelly, was recorded and released by V. Stiviano, which revealed Sterling’s racist comments about having black people attend Clippers games.

Clipped episodes 1 and 2 depict the unusual relationship between the 80-year-old Sterling and the much younger V. Stiviano, who received many expensive financial favors from Sterling despite claiming to be his “assistant”, “archivist”, and strangely, his “right hand arm man” and “silly rabbit.” As depicted in Clipped episode 3, Stiviano seems hyper-focused on fame, image, and Instagram popularity, leading to the obsessive coverage from pop culture tabloids that captured her doing all sorts of weird things, such as rollerblading in a massive reflective visor and letting her pet turtle out for a midnight stroll, both of which actually happened. Clipped episode 4 takes an in-depth dramatized look at the lives of Stiviano and Doc Rivers before they met Sterling.

The Glamorous Party V. Stiviano Attends In Clipped Episode 4 Appears Heavily Dramatized

The party is full of LA elitist conspiratorial cliches

The series has gotten many of the specific details about V. Stiviano correct thus far throughout its four available episodes, which is impressive considering just how little information is accessible about Stiviano’s life under her former name, Maria Vanessa Perez. It’s true that Stiviano was a struggling actress who suffered from skin problems that likely propelled her attraction to cosmetic and plastic surgery. Stiviano is depicted as a food truck working in Los Angeles in 2004 after she left her life behind in San Antonio where her mother had been convicted for using her children to steal from a supermarket (via Daily Mail).

What isn’t necessarily true about V. Syivano’s portrayal in Clipped, or at least can’t be proven, is the bizarre Los Angeles elite party referred to as “sanctuary” gatherings that she attended through a new friend. The series provides an avenue to understanding how V. Stivanio became interested in pursuing men like Donald Sterling, who seemingly had it all. Her interaction with a wealthy man named Scaramouche, portrayed by Fred Melamed, feels like it was made specifically for the show. In the extended scene in which V. Stiviano and Sacarmouche talk in the kitchen during the party, the audience begins to see how the dramatized version of the character becomes enthralled with the seedy yet luxurious lifestyle.

The Series Looks More Fondly On Elgin Baylor’s Lawsuit Against The NBA Than History Had

Clipped finally gives Baylor the spotlight he deserves with the Clippers organization

Clifton Davis as Elgin Baylor

Before becoming the general manager of the Clippers, Elgin Baylor was one of the greatest players on an NBA court and remains to this day as one of the greatest players who ever lived. The series does an excellent job of highlighting the wrongdoing of Sterling and then-NBA Commissioner David Stern, who has been criticized for giving Sterling too many passes for his previous racist remarks and lewd activities. The series actually provides a truer, more honorable account of Baylor’s predicament with the Clippers, the NBA, and Sterling, than history did as it unfolded. In this way, it’s one of the most significant aspects of the entire series.

Before Sterling was finally exposed by V. Stiviano, Baylor sued him for wrongful termination and noted his “plantation-like” view of the organization and its players. The pivotal moment in which Sterling’s blindly loyal assistant Andy Rosser hands Baylor a severance letter with an empty smile is brought to life in Clipped, which had previously been unknown to history. While it’s not exactly certain whether Sterling was avoiding Baylor or not after he had fired him, the impact that it left on Baylor did actually inspire him to sue. Baylor unfortunately lost the lawsuit but Clipped finally gives him credit for his bravery and strong values that he deserves.

A younger version of Doc wanted to make his opinion heard

Laurence Fishburne as Doc Rivers at a press conference in Clipped.

Throughout Clipped episode 4, a younger version of Doc Rivers as a player on the Los Angeles Clippers is portrayed by Freddie L. Fleming. When the news of Rodney King’s death sparked nationwide outrage, Doc was a young player on the Clippers, of all teams, which was still under the ownership of Sterling back in 1991. Rivers goes home to his family and tells them to “call Bob Costas”, which is a seemingly random statement made in rage. In reality, Rivers did speak to the press on how the troubling news was affecting him alongside his Clippers teammates Karl Malone and James Edwards, which aired on a news program hosted by Costas.


All 15 NBA Players In Hulu’s Clipped Show Explained

Clipped features many portrayals of NBA players from various generations and replicates the 2014 playoff matchup between the Warriors & the Clippers.

Source: Daily Mail

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