Channing Tatum’s old stripper buddies say he stole their moves for ‘Magic Mike’

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum has always proudly owned his former male stripper status, and now many of his (joyously sketchy) experiences have been folded into the upcoming Magic Mike movie by director Steven Soderbergh. Certainly, the trailer and its red-band counterpart look quite promising, but not all is well in the Magic Mike universe. Channing’s former stripper buddies are coming out of the woodwork to protest that the movie steals their moves and its titular nickname as well. TMZ has a photo of them all together, and Channing looks exactly the same as he does now; as for the rest of them … let’s just thank goodness for Hollywood casting. Are these dudes just trying to ruin a good time for da ladies, or do they have a point?

Channing Tatum

Two ex-male strippers who once worked with Channing Tatum claim his new movie Magic Mike is a giant SLAP IN THE FACE … claiming the actor stole THEIR stories and turned it into his own Hollywood gold.

FYI — Tatum doesn’t just star in the film, he’s also a producer — and has claimed the film is partially based on his real-life experiences as a dancer back in Florida.

But TMZ spoke to Thomas “Awesome” Austin and London Steele — both guys worked with Tatum back in his FL stripper days — who say the film is based more off their lives than his … even down to the title — Magic Mike — which is a name Austin says he coined for another dancer.

“Awesome” Austin tells TMZ … he and his former male dance buddies are a like a “brotherhood” and, while they’re happy for Channing’s success, they feel betrayed by the actor for not involving any of them in the film.

They claim they took Tatum under their wings when he was a nobody and taught him all their special stripper-moves like “The Hot Seat” — which is featured in the film and Austin says he invented it.

The guys tell us, after seeing parts of the final product they feel slighted … claiming Tatum failed to consult them for accuracy and insist that, without them, he wouldn’t have any material.

Austin explains, Channing was an “amateur” when he met him and says “he only danced for 4 months. How many events could have happened to him?”

A rep for Channing had no comment.

[From TMZ]

This is a tricky situation because, while choreographed dance moves are indeed protected by copyright law, these dudes would have to register their “moves” before asking a court for relief, and I doubt they’ve sent videotapes of their routines to the Library of Congress to make things official in terms of U.S. copyright law. Can you imagine? And they’d have to trademark any nicknames as well before asking for monetary damages. So until there’s an actual lawsuit (which there probably won’t be), I’m going to assume that these guys either want some “shut up” money or are looking for publicity for their current stripping endeavors. On that last note, I can’t blame them for trying.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum

Photos courtesy of AllMoviePhoto and

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

33 Responses to “Channing Tatum’s old stripper buddies say he stole their moves for ‘Magic Mike’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. RocketMerry says:

    Uncool, Magic Mike.

    • Nikita says:

      I hate legalese stories…but I am surprisingly sympathetic toward the other guys.

      I am pro-Channing for making a movie based on any story he came up with, that is hard enough to do, period, in Hollywood.

      But if they are someone else’s stories, and I do this myself all the time when I am writing a story, I incorporate bits and pieces of my own and anyone else’s stories that will make a, well, Good Story, at least give credit somehow, where it is due, throw the boys a bone, no matter how douchey they look in that photo…

  2. marie says:

    hell, who cares-I’m not going to see the movie for the storyline anyway..

  3. Emily says:

    Because I am sure there is only one stripper with the nickname “Magic Mike” in the whole world. And honestly, how many dance moves can there be?

    • Sweettart says:


      Also, according to that link “choreography” can be covered by copyright. A few “moves?” No.

      If Tatum took their complete routines for the movie, then they’d have a point.

      Other than that, *ALL* choreography takes inspiration from somewhere.

      And getting bent out of shape over the name “Magic Mike?” It’s not that original . . . get over it.

  4. the original bellaluna says:

    Ummm, doesn’t the fact that CT danced with them make them “his moves” too?

    Maybe a couple of them are out of shape and looking for a quick payout. Seriously, dudes, it’s STRIPPING; not exactly Tony-winning choreography.

  5. REb says:

    My entire dream last night was that I was an extra in that movie- one of the lucky ladies being entertained. It was the best dream I have ever had. I am all about Matt Bromer.

  6. Lindsay says:

    I’m really sad that I can’t watch the red-band trailer on my phone. *sigh*

  7. Belle says:

    I don’t think this situation is tricky at all… these guys have no grounds for a case, so they must be looking for some publicity.

    Unfortunate. They probably could have gotten the same… er, exposure if they had just come forward in a more supportive, positive way. Instead they sound like jealous douchebags.

    • Izzy says:

      +1!! Can you imagine all the performance bookings they’d get if they had been more supportive? Like, “Hey, ladies! Check out the real men of Magic Mike! No need to see it on screen when you can touch it in person!” Is that too gross? It’s a little much, right? Sorry. I’m tired and have had WAY too much caffeine…

      • renee says:

        HAHAHAHAHAAHAA! I love this comment. And you are right by the way, except I could see some people trying to advertise their show this way and then the MOVIE PEOPLE sue THEM. How wrong would that be?

  8. bondbabe says:

    Just as songwriters are told to “write what they know,” Channing wrote about what he knew (and, mmmmmm, thank goodness).

    Now had the dancers he initially worked with “covered their ass” by going through the proper legal channels, then I might feel some emphathy.

    Just sounds to me like it’s mostly sour grapes.

  9. yumpopcorn says:

    Magic Mike is based on his life but he doesn’t play himself in the movie, Alex plays the character based on him and he plays one of the more experienced strippers.

  10. Ray says:

    *they feel betrayed by the actor for not involving any of them in the film.*

    Enough said. Seems to me they wanted to be in the film. HAHAHAH.

  11. Me Too says:

    Got to say I don’t get the love for Tatum. Don’t think he’s sexy. And, frankly every movie of his I’ve ever seen he’s been horrible. Since it’s obvious his draw is supposed to be his looks…for me, he’s just meh!

    • bondbabe says:

      Maybe his dong-candy will convert you! (And if not, I’ll gladly take your piece…mmmmmmm)

  12. NerdMomma says:

    This sounds as dumb as Adele’s ex boyfriend suing her because he “inspired” her lyrics by breaking her heart. People take their life experiences and turn them into art, that’s how it works!!!

  13. Jordan says:

    Yes, unless they’ve registered their moves or name, they’re just looking for PR and a check. I think if once he had gotten famous, then denied his stripping days, it would be a bigger slap in the face so not sure why this bugs them. This is supposed to be a fun movie and Channing is not claiming its anything other than what it is – Oscar worthy! j/k but really, I bet it’s better than Titanic.

  14. Alicia says:

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but I think it should get an Oscar

  15. Jessika says:

    Come on! I may be wrong but, of course you haven’t seen the movie yet it doesn’t come out till July 11, 2012… Just saying!