The True Story Behind Netflix’s ‘Class Act’


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  • Class Act on Netflix tells the fascinating story of Bernard Tapie, a French businessman whose genius and ambition propelled him to nice success.
  • Tapie’s rise from humble beginnings to proudly owning main firms like Adidas and profitable championships is awe-inspiring, however his involvement in a match-fixing scandal tarnished his popularity.
  • The collection overlooks some particulars of Tapie’s life, corresponding to his sponsorship of a profitable biking workforce and his authorized battles with Crédit Lyonnais financial institution, however it nonetheless highlights his unbelievable achievements and the controversies that surrounded him.

Following the larger-than-life adventures of French businessman Bernard Tapie, Class Act on Netflix fuses fiction and actuality to create a cautionary story about careerism and unhinged ambition. The seven-episode collection captures all the things from the person’s preliminary entrepreneurial ventures to his rise to political workplace, extending a fast look over the occasions that outlined the lifetime of the French businessman. Though his involvement in a match-fixing scandal tarnished his wonderful rise, Bernard Tapie’s genius and relentless pursuit of success made him a person who confronted many failures however continued to climb French society’s hierarchy, purely fueled by ambition. Class Act does a good job of highlighting Bernard Tapie’s meteoric rise whereas additionally outlining the errors that ultimately led to his downfall. If the occasions portrayed in Class Act appear unbelievable, the true story behind it deserves all of the credit score.

Who Is Bernard Tapie?

Picture through Netflix

Created by Olivier Demangel and Tristan Séguéla, Class Act focuses on the eventful lifetime of Bernard Tapie from 1966 to 1967. Throughout his life, Tapie wore many hats as he continued to hunt larger milestones to attain albeit his beginnings have been humble. In 1943, Tapie was born because the son of a plumber. His formative years concerned promoting TV units and performing as a singer. Tapie married Michèle Layec (performed by Ophélia Kolb in Class Act) in 1964. From the wedding, Tapie had two kids — Nathalie and Stéphane. Later, he married Dominique Mialet-Damianos (performed by Joséphine Japy in Class Act).

Exceptional success adopted him when he determined to purchase debt-ridden firms and switch them into money-making machines by way of his genius and charisma. As mirrored by way of Laurent Lafitte’s character, Tapie was all the time pleased with his achievements and overtly flaunted his wealth. The now-sporting large Adidas grew to become the crowning glory within the portfolio of firms Tapie owned. His possession of a Tour de France-winning biking workforce and the later Champions League-winning membership Olympique de Marseilles additional cemented the legend of his Midas contact.

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Bernard Tapie’s Recognition Propelled His Political Rise

Picture through Netflix

Tapie’s entry into politics grew to become one other turning level in his profession. After having achieved all the things as a businessman, Tapie forayed into politics to convey social change. Very like French President Emmanuel Macron talked about in his tribute to Tapie, he did change into a supply of inspiration for generations of French residents. After being elected as an unbiased Member of Parliament in 1989, he served as city affairs minister underneath the presidency of François Mitterrand. In 1994, as a member of the Mouvement des Radicaux de Gauche, Tapie grew to become a Member of European Parliament (MEP). Nevertheless, Tapie’s political profession was lower brief by his authorized troubles. This didn’t imply Tapie stayed away from politics for the remainder of his life. His intensive assist for later President Nicolas Sarkozy additionally led to some controversies later in his life.

What may have been an illustrious political profession was lower brief when Tapie’s title got here up in a match-fixing scandal, lined intimately in Class Act. The allegation and conviction within the case of bribing the minor membership Valenciennes hit Tapie badly. His membership, Olympique de Marseilles, was stripped of the French League championship and relegated to second division. The court docket case between Éric de Montgolfier and Tapie resulted in a two-year-long jail sentence for Tapie. Together with match-fixing expenses, Tapie was convicted of tax fraud twice, in 1997 and 2005.

Class Act additionally focuses on the businessman’s love for all issues media. He launched a number of pop songs beginning within the Sixties. His stint as a tv present host for the month-to-month economics tv program Ambitions (named ‘Success’ in Class Act) additional established his picture as a visionary and inspirational character. After his jail sentence, Tapie determined to discover his different pursuits together with performing. As a theater actor, he re-enacted Jack Nicholson’s function of Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, gathering constructive opinions. He additionally appeared within the function of a police chief within the French tv collection Commissaire Valence.

‘Class Act’ Leaves Out Some Particulars of Tapie’s Life

Picture through Netflix

Class Act doesn’t cowl all of the achievements and controversies of the businessman’s life. One achievement that doesn’t get a lot consideration is that his firm, La Vie Claire, sponsored the biking workforce of the identical title. The workforce was fashioned by Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault. The workforce went on to win the Tour de France twice, in 1985 and 1986. A doable cause why Tapie’s involvement with the workforce didn’t get a lot focus could possibly be rooted in the truth that it was Hinault who did a lot of the leg work to kind the workforce earlier than Tapie determined to take a position.

Tapie’s authorized battle with Crédit Lyonnais financial institution, which continued a lot after the occasions of the collection and till his loss of life in 2021, was additionally not mentioned in Class Act. However the occasion from which the battle originated was talked about. Actually, the sale of Adidas was proven as a topic of rising rigidity between Tapie and Dominique. In Class Act, Tapie felt strongly in opposition to promoting the sporting large, which he referred to as a household firm. The bank was sued by Tapie for undervaluing the company at the time Tapie decided to sell it. The financial institution additionally used its offshore firms to purchase Adidas on its behalf, breaching the settlement.

After a long-standing wrestle, Tapie was awarded compensation to the tune of 404 million Euros, which got here from France’s Ministry of Finance. Later, in 2015, one other court docket dominated that Tapie ought to return the general public’s cash with curiosity. A number of court docket instances and selections later, the case was nonetheless an ongoing one on the time of Tapie’s loss of life. Presumably, in one other season of Class Act, all the controversy surrounding the sale might be totally explored, contemplating some huge names, corresponding to that of the present President of the European Central Financial institution, Christine Lagarde, popped up throughout the course of the occasions. In 2017, Tapie was recognized with abdomen most cancers. In April 2021, Tapie and Dominique became victims of a burglary at their Paris home, throughout which they have been tied up and crushed. In October of that yr, Tapie handed away on the age of 78.

As Tapie was himself against the idea of a biographical series on his life, it can’t be conclusively mentioned how true to actuality the Netflix collection is, notably the main points pertaining to his private life and selections, though the key occasions lined within the collection are usually not themselves a creation of fiction. His household has come out in robust opposition to the collection that portrays Tapie with sure robust flaws. Tapie in Class Act is a person who, regardless of his inner wrestle to do the appropriate factor, typically adopts the “all is truthful in love and conflict” method, which prices him drastically, as identified in numerous episodes of the present. To be truthful to the creators of the collection, Laurent Lafitte’s Bernard Tapie stands tall as an inspiring determine in Class Act regardless of the possibly contentious nature of his transgressions, introducing the legend of the French businessman to a brand new technology unaware of his accomplishments.

All episodes of Class Act are at the moment obtainable to stream on Netflix.


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