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Director of Marsha P Johnson documentary accused of stealing research from black trans woman

Director of Marsha P Johnson documentary accused of stealing research from black trans woman

Marsha P Johnson was a pioneer on the Stonewall riots

The director of The Death and Live of Marsha P Johnson is being accused of stealing work done by a black trans activist.

Reina Gossett alleges her research was used by filmmaker David France for the new Netflix documentary.

In an Instagram post, Gossett alleges France used the work and grant application from her to create the film.

She claims she was not given credit or financial compensation.

Gossett, with Sasha Wortzel, have been writing, producing and directing the film Happy Birthday Marsha, raising funds through Indiegogo.

‘This week while I’m borrowing money to pay rent, David France is releasing his multi-million dollar Netflix deal on Marsha P Johnson,’ Gossett said.

#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. TRUSTTHERE’SSOMUCH 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

A post shared by Reina Gossett (@reinaxgossett) on

She alleges France was inspired to make the film from a grant application video she made, and claimed he was the one that should make the film.

Gossett also claims France ‘ripped off decades’ of archival research and used their contacts and language.

‘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,’ she said.

‘I feel so much rage and grief over all of this.’

Janet Mock, trans activist and speaker, is supporting Gossett.

France has responded to Mock and Gossett, saying he was friends with the trans woman at the centre of the Stonewall riots.

‘I began researching Marsha’s life in 1992 as a reporter for the Village Voice. She was a friend of mine. Her death greatly upset me,’ he claimed.

‘I learned of Happy Birthday Marsha well into our work and reached out, worried we were duplicating efforts.’

He added: ‘Marsha’s and Sylvia [Rivera]’s inspiring stories have been told before and must be told again with many voices, especially by trans woman of color who have an even harder time raising funds than we did.

‘That’s why we fully support Reina and Sasha’s beautiful film.’

The Death and Live of Marsha P Johnson is available on Netflix now. You can donate to the post-production of Happy Birthday Marsha here