March 15, 2021
Netflix March 17 will stream Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal, an original documentary about the man behind an illegal system designed to get the children of wealthy well-connected families into major U.S. colleges and universities.
The movie doc is from filmmakers Chris Smith and Jon Karmen (Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened). Smith was an executive producer of Netflix’s 2020 docuseries hit Tiger King.
The program is an examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged. Using a combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer (played by Matthew Modine in reenactments) and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges.
The federal investigation entrapped more than 50 families, including actresses Lori Loughlin, her husband J. Mossimo Giannulli, and Felicity Huffman, who paid Singer’s network to inflate their children’s SAT scores, submit bogus athletic accomplishments, and bribe college officials in order to ensure admittance. Loughlin and Huffman each served brief jail sentences, while Giannulli continues to serve a five-month sentence.
Singer faces a 65-year jail sentence and more than $1 million fine.