Rejecting Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing is one of the most iconic cult classic movies of all time. But back when screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein and producer Linda Gottlieb first pitched the script, it promptly received 43 rejection letters. Studios labelled it as “too small, too soft and too girly.” This week we break down the film’s remarkable journey. From a low-budget indie movie no one wanted, to raking in over $200 million at the box office.

Rejecting Sara Blakely

Spanx has become the de facto brand name for an entire category. But in the ’90s, the shapewear company’s founder, Sara Blakely, was enduring relentless rejection as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson. When one day, she cut the feet off her pantyhose. This week we tell Blakely’s inspiring story, from being ridiculed for her idea to becoming one of the youngest female self-made billionaires.

Rejecting RuPaul

RuPaul’s Drag Race has won 13 Emmys, including outstanding reality host four years running. But RuPaul didn’t sashay into Hollywood overnight. He weathered decades of rejection fighting to be America’s first drag superstar. Join us this week as we tell RuPaul’s fabulous story. From sleeping in Central Park to becoming Supermodel of the World.

Rejecting Ed Sheeran

In 2020, Ed Sheeran was named UK Artist of the Decade. But 11 years earlier, he was dropped by his own management. And reeling from rejection after rejection by every major label in the country. This week, we break down Sheeran’s inspiring story. From being told he should just give out his music for free to setting the record for the highest-grossing world tour of all time.

Rejecting Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is a force of nature. Sitting atop her piano are 11 Grammys and an Oscar. But a star isn’t born overnight. Mother Monster was forged through years of relentless taunting and repeated rejection from the music industry. This week, we tell Lady Gaga’s formidable story. From pounding her keyboard to pounding the pavement to pounding on doors.

Rejecting JAY-Z

In 2019, JAY-Z became the world’s first hip-hop billionaire. But 25 years earlier, no one would give him a record deal, labels said there was no market for his “brand of music” and radio stations refused to play his songs. Join us this week as we take a stroll through the Empire City and unpack JAY-Z’s remarkable story. From Marcy Projects to Madison Square Garden.

Rejecting Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman is the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. But back when screenwriter J.F. Lawton first penned the script in 1987, it was neither romantic, nor a comedy. It was a dark drama. This week, we tell the story of the record-breaking film. Starting with Hollywood door slams and ending at the Academy Awards.

Rejecting Stranger Things

Stranger Things is the #1 television show on Netflix. Its third season brought in 30 million viewers in just four days. But before the sci-fi series broke the internet, its creators – The Duffer Brothers – were rejected by every major film school. And every major film studio.

Rejecting Stephen King

Stephen King is the king of horror. But in 1973, he was a high school English teacher living in a double-wide trailer, writing stories at lunch and fielding rejection letter after rejection letter from publishers. Welcome to the premiere episode of We Regret To Inform You: The Rejection Podcast.