Is Lesley Based on a Real WeWork Employee?

Is Lesley Based on a Real WeWork Employee?

‘ WeCrashed’ on Apple TV+ follows the company’s story that shares workspaces WeWork and the turbulent path of its founders and staff. Under the turbulent leadership of co-founder Adam Neumann, the company can reach huge valuations. However, it also spends huge amounts of money and loses millions of dollars every day. While it’s fun watching the hilarious antics from Neumann and his partner, Rebekah, the occasionally wise perspective of a discerning employee reveals how sloppy the company is.

Lesley is one of these employees and could be the first genuine critique WeWork employs. After meeting Adam and co-founder Miguel McKelvey in a cafe as they conduct interviews for new hires, Lesley has seen WeWork’s beginnings as humble. When the show’s fourth episode airs, However, she appears to be horrified by how Adam manages the business even while Miguel remains mute. Given that ‘WeCrashed’ borrows many elements from the real world, We decided to investigate whether Lesley could be based on the real WeWork employee. We found this. Warning: There are spoilers ahead.

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Was Lesley a Real WeWork Employee?

It’s not true; Lesley is not based on the life of a specific WeWork employee. However, she’s likely to be motivated by a range of early employees from real life that joined WeWork with great hopes but ended up dissatisfied with the treatment they were handed out to the employees. In this show, Lesley, played by Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, is one of the first employees that Adam or Miguel personally employ. Interviews are conducted in the cafe where they interview several applicants when Lesley, who is yet a stranger, is seated at a table nearby.

When Adam discredits the idea of working in the coffee shop, stating that working in a common workspace is more productive, Lesley interjects, unknowingly offering Adam what appears to be the basis of his beliefs. Lesley says that people go to coffee shops because of the camaraderie and sense of community, far outweighs the obvious apprehensions. Adam finds himself impressed and offers Lesley the opportunity to join. She ultimately accepts and is one of the first managers at WeWork.

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Then, fast forward a few years to 2016 (on The show), and Lesley begins to question her assumptions about how Adam is managing things. From the uncontrolled and arbitrary expenditure to the decision to lay off significant workforce portions, Lesley, the earliest WeWork employee, notices grave issues with the business. But her loyalty prevents her from leaving the company as she tries to convince Adam and Miguel to change their ways and address the apparent absence of sustainability within the business.

Although Lesley is a fictional character scripted to move the story forward, there may be real people to which the character draws sources of inspiration. In the September 2021 interview with WeWork’s first staff, Marga Snyder, then Community Associate at the New York City offices, admitted that she was a part of the company’s shared workspace for a staggering 10 and a half years. Beginning as the assistant manager of buildings, Snyder was most notable for revealing that Neumann directly recruited her. Like Lesley, Snyder also held various positions within the company, such as that of the event director.

In the end, Lesley is a fictional character who could have been derived from a wide range of former employees of WeWork. The show is based on The Wondery podcast, ‘WeCrashed: WeWork Rise and Fall of WeWork,’ which features interviews with real (former) WeWork employees. The television adaptation could draw from real-life experiences and dramatizes them using fictional characters. If this is indeed the scenario, then it is likely that Lesley’s character is not real, is trying to make the narrative appear authentic and dramatic.

Chris Evan was born in Quebec and raised in Montreal, except for the time when he moved back to Quebec and attended high school there. He studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. He began writing after obsessing over books.

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