Trans filmmaker accuses Netflix of plagiarism

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A transgender filmmaker and activist Reina Gossett has said that the documentary maker behind the Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson took the idea from her without her permission. The documentary looks at the life of Marsha P Johnson, a black trans woman who played a key role in the Stonewall riots of the late 60s. Gossett alleges that the Netfix filmmaker France had seen a grant application which she wrote for a video about Johnson. She says he decided to make the documentary deleting the application not to let the public see it. “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,” she wrote on Instagram, finding a lot of support from other trans activists, in part Janet Mock who wrote: “This brilliant black trans girl went about researching, archiving, and digitizing content that was previously inaccessible for decades,” she wrote. “She interviewed Marsha and 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.”

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