Marsha_P_JohnsonThe 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.

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



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