Dirty Money

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Dirty Money TV Poster Image
Docu shares disturbing details about corporate greed.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Corporate greed is real and has a far-reaching impact on shareholders and consumers. Not all corporations or business leaders face consequences for their actions. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

CEOs, business leaders often engaged in unethical and illegal business deals. 


Conversations about being threatened with violence. 


Images of women in bikinis, skimpy clothes. Crude references like "d--k," "p---y." 


Drugs like Botox, banks like HSBC, and car companies like Volkswagen are featured. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Pharmaceuticals discussed. Drinking (wine, champagne) sometimes visible. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dirty Money is a docuseries about corporate greed and corruption. Brand names like HSBC, Trump, Volkswagen, and others are discussed, some in more detail than others. It contains some cursing and crude references, and sometimes drinking is visible. Most teens probably won't be into it, and folks with limited background in the stock market may find it hard to follow. 

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What's the story?

DIRTY MONEY is a documentary series about some of the most notable examples of corporate greed in recent history. From examining the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal to looking at price gouging tactics of pharmaceutical companies like Valeant, it takes an in-depth look at the corporate antics employed by some major companies to make money and and please their shareholders. Each episode features interviews with Wall Street experts, investors, stockholders,  authors, journalists, and consumers sharing their thoughts about what these companies did, and the financial and legal consequences that followed. Archival footage of key documents, news reports, and interviews with CEOs and other key corporate players are also shown. 

Is it any good?

This interesting documentary series offers an in-depth look into some of the more notorious incidents of corporate fraud. Some of these examples, like the ties between HSBC Bank and Mexican drug cartels, may be familiar to viewers. Other events, like an $18.7 million Canadian maple syrup heist, reveal some surprising information. All of them highlight unethical and often illegal business tactics. 

Some episodes (like the one on the Trump Organization) are more superficial than others, and some are a little dry. Meanwhile, despite attempts to break down the financial specifics in simple terms, those unfamiliar with investing and the stock market may still find some of it hard to follow. Nonetheless, Dirty Money succeeds at revealing how companies have engaged in corrupt, greedy behavior, and how it ultimately affects our everyday lives. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about some of the corporations, products, and people featured in Dirty Money. How have their business practices impacted consumers both in the short and the long term?

  • Dirty Money includes an episode about the company owned by a U.S. president. Is this appropriate? Why or why not?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 26, 2018
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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