Clipped: Is Deja Inspired by a Real Person?

In FX on Hulu’s sports drama series ‘Clipped,’ Deja stands by the side of V. Stiviano as her best friend and confidante. Whenever V gets into trouble, she seeks Deja’s advice to deal with it. Since the former MTV Spring Break star has more experience in being involved with the elite class of the City of Angels, V values her wisdom. In the fourth episode of the show, it is revealed that Deja is the one who “saved” V from a food truck to lead her to the world of show business. Even though V is based on a real person, we won’t be able to find Deja in her life!

The Fictional Bridge

Deja is a fictional character conceived by series creator Gina Welch and her team of writers. Although ‘Clipped’ is based on a true story, Welch and her team took creative liberties to dramatize real-life events. The narrative introduces V. Stiviano as an outsider who is not familiar with the nuances of the lives of people like Donald and Shelly Sterling despite her being an unignorable part of the same. Even though she is celebrating her life as the alleged mistress of Donald, she is still a “commoner” when it comes to the class of the Sterlings. That’s the reason why she embraces the fame she garners after her employer’s tape gets leaked.

As far as the narrative of the sports drama is concerned, Deja serves as the bridge between V and this highly intricate elite class. Her experiences with rich, powerful, and influential people like Donald have taught her several life lessons concerning how to deal with these individuals. That’s the reason why she is able to guide V when the latter gets sued by Shelly. When the lawsuit turns V’s life around, Deja’s wisdom and experience help her handle the predicament better. She also feels confident about her position in the case because she has Deja to stand by her side.

Through Deja, Welch succeeds in revealing V’s vulnerability. In reality, the press portrayed her as a skillful individual who managed to fool Donald to gain gifts that were worth millions. However, V’s interactions with Deja in the show make the character appear as a vulnerable, clueless individual whose ambitions get the better of her senses.

The Truth Teller

Several of the main characters in ‘Clipped’ are self-obsessed individuals. V is blinded by the fame she receives after Donald’s tape gets leaked. On the other hand, Donald is stubborn about making no changes to his condemnable personality, especially when it comes to sensitive affairs such as racism, prostitution, etc. In a narrative in which the principal characters are too outrageous, Deja is a reliable one. It is through her that Welch and her writers examine the intricacies of life and community that V accepts for her future.

The fourth episode reveals how a young V believed that she could be a part of the show business with her talent and skills. Deja broke her assumptions and made it clear that she might become a reality TV star only if she could “satisfy” the individuals who ruled the industry. Through Deja’s revelation, the show explores how toxic a space was show business for V. Even though she encouraged her new friend to embrace the same toxicity, that was because she knew that was the only way to save the latter from her poor living standards.

Similarly, when V takes advantage of the negative publicity she receives, Deja drops a truth bomb again, warning her how fame may affect her badly. V ignores the advice and poses for the paparazzi’s cameras. In reality, the press’ scrutiny remained on V for a considerable while, and the publicity she gained even paved the way for personal attacks.

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