Lifetime’s Friday Night Sext Scandal: Fiction or a True Story?

With Gail Harvey donning the director’s hat, Lifetime’s ‘Friday Night Sext Scandal’ is a drama film that focuses on a sexting scandal in a high school through the eyes of a talented 16-year-old footballer named Shawn Martins. When he makes a place for himself in the starting lineup of his high school’s football team, he becomes an integral part of the team’s inner circle. As he spends more time with his teammates, he finds out that most of the experienced players on the team hunt for nude photographs of their respective female classmates and upload them on a secretive website, where they trade these photos. Unfortunately, Shawn’s momentum in the team is hindered soon when he suffers from a serious knee injury, taking him out for the rest of the season.

In order to stay relevant in front of his teammates, he decides to indulge in the sexting scandal that they engage in by starting his own secret hunt for nude photographs, while keeping it a secret from his best friend Lauren and his mother Lucinda. However, when the truth about the website is exposed, along with the explicit images of the teenage girls, Lucinda and other members of the community move heaven and earth to hold the culprits responsible. Little does she know that her own son is one of them. Starring Anthony Timpano, Devyn Nekoda, Keana Lyn Bastidas, Tara Nicodemo, Connie Manfredi, and Jamie Champagne, the movie explores some of the harsh realities of the world, such as the sexualization of women, which makes one want to know if the story is authentic or not.

Friday Night Sext Scandal is Based on True Events

‘Friday Night Sext Scandal’ is billed as a tale inspired by real stories. The film powerfully exposes the truth about young boys, especially teens, who tend to share explicit images of their female peers with others. The situation portrayed in the film directly alludes to the 2015 case of eight Liberty High School boys, who were suspended for having and sharing explicit photos of their school’s girls around the campus as well as online. These images were reportedly even posted on Twitter and on the Instagram page Liberty.Girl.Pics. Immediately after the case was brought to light, the pictures were removed.

On the other hand, the 16 girls whose pictures were leaked got reprimanded for the same, explaining the “dangers of sharing inappropriate photos.” The police tried to make the teens understand the repercussions of sharing such images, explaining, “There are those pedophiles, sexual predators, online and they are just waiting for those pictures to appear and then they share them with other people and it becomes a very dangerous situation.” In light of this situation, Liberty School District was asked to comment on the case. After acknowledging the debacle, they said that “such incidents provide good reminders for our students to use good judgment before posting anything on digital devices.”

Moreover, it is important to acknowledge the fact that taking inspiration from such cases, Caitlin English and Reeyaz Habib are the two screenwriters who crafted the gripping screenplay for the Lifetime drama. Both have had quite a bit of experience writing for different projects in the industry. For instance, Caitlin English has worked on ‘Cavendish,’ ‘The Christmas Temp,’ and ‘Christmas Movie Magic.’ So, apart from their respective writing prowess, their experience also came in handy while weaving the story of ‘Friday Night Sex Scandal.’

Apart from the Liberty High School case, there have been many cases of scandals related to sexting or nude images. For instance, in 2009, Jesse Logan died by suicide after an explicit photo of hers was circulated around the high school by her boyfriend. Then, in December 2015, a high-profile sexting scandal surfaced at a Colorado high school that involved hundreds of students. Moreover, in 2018, about a dozen middle school students in Virginia were involved in a sexting scandal. Thus, fueled by such cases, the writers were inspired to conjure up a fictional tale while covering some real elements at the same time.

Read More: Killing All My Sisters: Is the Lifetime Movie Based on a True Story?