ICYMI: Over the weekend, Black trans artist and activist Reina Gossett shared an Instagram post stating that David France, creator of the new documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, stole her work. France denies it.
Here’s Reina’s full statement from Instagram:
#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 @sashawortzel & 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 😖😫😱
Janet Mock also chimed in about Reina’s statement, saying:
This brilliant black trans girl went about researching, archiving & digitizing content that was previously inaccessible for decades. She interviewed Marsha & Sylvia’s peers. She did this work without pay. Today, this black trans woman’s work about a black trans woman was used to make a film helmed by a credentialed white cis man aided by Netflix’s millions. Meanwhile Reina is borrowing money to pay rent as viewers around the world watch a film based on her unpaid, uncredited work. Support Reina — she made @hbdmarsha w/ @sashawortzel! Book her as a speaker! Let others know about her vital contributions. These are our stories, our lives and we will not be erased or silenced.
We would be nowhere without the labor and sacrifices of transgender women of color. We must not ever forget it. (via Teen Vogue)
[Image description: A screenshot from an Instagram photo of Reina Gossett smiling with her eyes closed, followed by the text above.]