Netflix is enrolling itself in the college admissions cheating scandal. Director Chris Smith’s documentary “Operation Varsity Blues,” starring Matthew Modine (pictured above, right) as Rick Singer (left), is set to debut on March 17.
An examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged, the logline reads. Using a combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, “Operation Varsity Blues” offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality.
Jon Karmen will executive produce “Operation Varsity Blues” alongside Smith. “Tiger King” fans may recognize Smith as one of the executive producers on that hit Netflix docuseries.
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among those arrested as part of the federal investigation. Huffman and her spouse — “Shameless” star William H. Macy, who was not charged — made a charitable donation of $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme, on behalf of their oldest daughter. Huffman had initially planned to do the same thing for her youngest daughter, before backing out.
In total, the people arrested were charged with paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into top universities like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC in what authorities described as the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”
Huffman, an Oscar nominee for 2006’s “Transamerica,” got a 14-day jail sentence. “Full House” (and “Fuller House”) star Loughlin, who initially pled not guilty, spent two months in prison. Louglin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, is currently serving his five-month prison sentence.