“The Age Of Influence” Documentary Series Coming Soon To Hulu
Disney’s ABC News Studios has announced details on a brand new documentary series, “The Age of Influence”, which examines the dark side of influencer culture through some of the biggest social media scandals of our time. From sweeping cons to viral cancellation campaigns, each episode of the six-part series gives an unfiltered look at an infamous influencer saga. Viewers will watch the drama unfold as these tastemakers become caught in the controversial crosshairs of their own curated online worlds.
Mike Kelley, head of ABC News Studios said in a statement:
“One of ABC News Studios’ core strategies is to tell stories that are in the cultural zeitgeist while also building on the legacy and journalistic rigor of ABC News. The Age of Influence’ does just that and also showcases the range of our storytelling by fusing investigative journalism with true crime, pop culture and social media.“
In the first episode, Danielle Miller ― once a victim herself derisively known as “Swiffer Girl” ― becomes an influencer of a different order as she uses social media to con her way into fame and fortune, encountering notorious Soho-grifter-turned-Rikers-roomie Anna Delvey along the way. The series also features episodes on serial scammer Jay Mazini, who uses religion and social media to prey on his victims and con his way to the top; fashion influencer Emily Gellis, who ignites a viral Instagram campaign against Tanya Zuckerbrot and her trendy F-Factor diet, potentially setting the stage for what can and can’t be said on social media; bodybuilder Tyler Bauman, who goes from rags to riches as “musclehead320” using Instagram to build his own counterfeit steroid empire; “momfluencer” Machelle Hobson, who builds a massive YouTube show around her adopted children, hiding a nefarious reality behind the scenes; and wannabe influencer, actress and reality star Tracii Hutsona, who wreaks havoc on the ex-wife of former basketball player, Jason Kidd.
Here are the official episode synopses:
Episode 101 – “XOXO, Grifter Girl”
Once known as the New York “Swiffer girl,” Danielle Miller became the unwilling subject of one of the internet’s first viral videos. As she attempts to rewrite her narrative and transform herself into a glamorous influencer, the girl whose identity was stolen from her as a young teen grows up to be a serial identity thief herself. Social media proves her undoing, as images from her lavish lifestyle implicate her in multiple cases of fraud. But like her Rikers roomie, the famed SoHo grifter Anna Delvey, Danielle is doubling down on her infamy and insisting you should never count her out.
Episode 102 – “The Sinfluencer”
New Jersey entrepreneur Jay Mazini cons his way into wealth and internet fame through a series of schemes hinged upon the trust of his devoted social media disciples. His rapid ascent brands him a crypto-prophet, fashion designer and viral philanthropist, but when a former friend, along with others, sounds the alarm on his deceit, he resorts to violence to keep his house of cards from crumbling.
Episode 103 – “Fiber Feud”
When Emily Gellis hears rumors that the trendy F-factor diet is allegedly causing health issues for her followers, she takes up the cause on Instagram. But the diet’s founder Tanya Zuckerbrot denies the claims and is ready to fight back with two defamation lawsuits. Meanwhile, the dramatic fiber-feud continues to rage on social media, potentially forever setting the stage for what can and can’t be said on the internet.
Episode 104 – “The Steroids Swindler”
After an embattled childhood colored by drugs and poverty, Tyler Bauman attempts to reinvent himself as an over-the-top Instagram personality. Using the handle musclehead320, he chronicles his goal to reach 320 pounds, sharing his expertise on steroids and supplements before eventually getting into the manufacturing and distribution game himself. It’s the classic story of a regular guy breaking bad ― with an Instagram account, a Boston accent and a whole lot of juice.
Episode 105 – “The Bad Momfluencer”
Successful child influencers are adept at putting on a show, but what happens when the camera turns off? The terrifying tale of Machelle Hobson explores the tragedy that befell her adopted children, whose lives seemed picture perfect on their popular Youtube series, “Fantastic Adventures.” But behind the scenes, abuse ran rampant, and the systems in place failed the children at every turn —begging the question: How can our children best be protected in the age of influence?
Episode 106 – “The Con-fluencer”
Career con artist Tracii Hutsona dreams of fame as an actress, influencer and YouTube reality star. As she fails to reach her goals, she wreaks havoc on the lives of many, including a Los Angeles scenester, a fast-casual restaurateur, and Joumana Kidd, the ex-wife of basketball legend, Jason Kidd.
“The Age of Influence” is produced by Part2 Pictures for ABC News Studios. Joe Eardly, David Shadrack Smith and Fay Yu are executive producers for Part2 Pictures. For ABC News Studios, Victoria Thompson is the executive producer, and David Sloan is the senior executive producer. ABC News Studios is led by Mike Kelley. Reena Mehta is SVP, Streaming and Digital Content.
“The Age of Influence” begins streaming on Monday, 5th June 2023 on Hulu. It hasn’t been announced if this series will also be released as a Star Original internationally, though its worth noting that most recent ABC News Studios shows have been.