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The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and the changing face of a criminal

Published January 25, 2014 at 9:05 am

Even before the release of Martin Scorsese’s much-acclaimed recent film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort was still well-known. But now he has a level of exposure he couldn’t have begged for, even if it’s not all positive. And this brings up the persistent question: does bad publicity still exist?

To those who haven’t yet seen the movie, Belfort is a notorious white collar criminal who swindled clients out of millions of dollars during his reign as the head of brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont in the 80s and 90s.

The film reportedly took many artistic liberties with Belfort’s real life story, but it drew from his own account of events in two published autobiographies, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance has netted the actor an Oscar nomination.

Since the movie began gathering steam, there’s been a lot of buzz, both good and bad, surrounding the movie and the man whom it depicts. As a result, Belfort is making headlines left and right, whether it’s articles attempting to separate fact from fiction or more tabloid-esque pieces dissecting his strange habits. Both of these serve as a means of curating content and ratcheting up Belfort’s presence on the internet.

Of course, this may all pass in time, depending on how the movie is received in years to come. But in the meantime there’s a steady stream of news about the man to soak up, and a wealth of marketing for the movie that doubles as a way to make others aware of this person who might otherwise not have become so memorable.



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