From Reina Gossett’s Instagram:
reinaxgossett: #deepshare #realtruth this week while I’m borrowing money to pay rent, david france is releasing his multimillion dollar netflix deal on marsha p johnson. i’m still lost in the music trying to #pay_it_no_mind and reeling on how this movie came to be and make so much $ off of our lives and ideas. david got inspired to make this film from a grant application video that sasha & I made and sent to Kalamazoo/Arcus Foundation social justice center while he was visiting. He told the people who worked there -i shit you not- that he should be the one to do this film, got a grant from Sundance/Arcus using my language and research about STAR, got Vimeo to remove my video of Sylvia’s critical “y’all better quiet down” speech, ripped off decades of my archival research that i experienced so much violence to get, had his staff call Sasha up at work to get our contacts then hired my and Sasha’s *ADVISOR* to our Marsha film Kimberly Reed to be his producer. And that’s just the shit I have the spoons to name. TRUST🥄THERE’S🥄SO🥄MUCH 🥄MORE🥄. This kind of extraction/excavation of black life, disabled life, poor life, trans life is so old and so deeply connected to the violence Marsha had to deal with throughout her life. So I feel so much rage and grief over all of this & STAR must have some serious level plan on moving through many—and clearly by any means necessary—to get the message out… So tonight I’m channeling high priestess energy to show me the honey throne cuz this storm queen is 😖😫😱
I find it highly suspicious that Reina Gossett chose the day of the release of The Death And Life of Marsha P. Johnson to make a post like this. If you read his statement here (and the following thread of replies), you’ll see that not only did David France offer his support on Reina’s project, he also financially supported her with donations and connections to fundraisers. You can read it for yourself, but it checks out. Reina’s work wasn’t stolen, nor will any money be made from the Netfilx deal since they were severely underfunded.
David France is a man that has been working on this since 1992 and was a personal friend to Marsha. His documentary is a culmination of many years of work to have her story told right. He used his privilege to secure funding for a documentary and TWoC were hired at every level of production. Not doing so would have been injustice to his friend’s memory and legacy.
Just because both of these center on Marsha doesn’t mean they can’t both exist. Happy Birthday Marsha is a fictional telling of the events of Stonewall. The Death And Life of Marsh P. Johnson is a documentary featuring many older trans activists telling their stories. They don’t compete with one another. We need as many tellings of our history as we can because it’s already been erased.
Oh boy. That comment section…