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GLAAD, Tribeca Film Fest at Odds Over 'Ticked Off Trannies'


Yesterday in my news round-up I mentioned that GLAAD had sent out an action alert regarding the film Ticked Off Trannies with Knives.

Writes GLAAD in its alert, which demands that Ticked Off Trannies be pulled from the line-up of the Tribeca Film Festival:

"GLAAD has since seen the film in its entirety and can report that the title is far from the only problem with this film. The film, its title and its marketing misrepresent the lives of transgender women and use grotesque, exploitative depictions of violence against transgender women in ways that make light of the horrific brutality they all too often face... By marketing Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives as a “transploitation” film, by using the word “trannies” (a pejorative term for transgender people) in the title of the film, by casting transgender women in some roles, and by citing the murders of Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado in the trailer, Israel Luna has attempted to place his film squarely within a transgender narrative....[W]hile some of the actors in the film identify as transgender, the characters are written as drag queens, “performing” femininity in a way that is completely artificial. The very names of these over-the-top female caricatures (Emma Grashun, Rachel Slurr, et al.) drive this point home."

Ticked Seth Abramovitch at Movieline calls GLAAD out, accusing the organization of censorship:

"When, exactly, did GLAAD start delineating between what is acceptable or not acceptable humor within the whole Queer spectrum for whom they advocate? According to their logic, drag as a subject is an OK area for broad satire, because it’s 'performing,' but transexualism is not. Well, what if the transexual in question also happens to be a raunchy drag performer, like Dirty Sexy Money star Candis Cayne? Doesn’t the voice of the filmmaker count for something? Are transexuals incapable of laughing at themselves? If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love someone else? Can I get an amen up in here?! (And don’t f*ck it up.) And even more importantly — isn’t this, like, censorship?"

The Tribeca Film Festival is defending its inclusion of the film:

“The filmmakers provided a copy of this film to GLAAD in February, and for weeks the organization had been supportive to the filmmakers. In fact, GLAAD representatives advised the film’s producer, director and cast on how to describe the film to its core constituency. Tribeca is proud of its ongoing commitment to bring diverse voices and stories to its audiences, and looks forward to the film’s premiere at our Festival next month.”

An actor in the film (commenting on Movieline) says GLAAD lied on its website and that the organization has known about the film for more than a year:

"I'm in this movie and it's awesome. GLAAD has flat out lies on their website. they knew about this movie a while ago. they weren't "just alerted." Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives is Kill Bill for the GLBT set and is scary where it should terrify, funny when there's jokes (about appropriate material) and wham-bam-glam in the action sequences. The trailer mentions the hate crimes. The movie does not. I think the trailer mentions them to bring to light that stuff like what is in the movie actually happens and hopefully will not again."

Adds Abramovitch: "GLAAD is a funny little organization, on the one hand these self-appointed sentries for positive representation of gays in media, on the other a kind of nutless institution reluctant to get their Pradas dirty on the way to the awards show by, say, recognizing important but confrontational work like Kirby Dick’s Outrage. It’s baffling, really, when you then consider where they do choose to pick their battles."

Watch a "sneak peek" for Ticked Off Trannies with Knives, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Lighten UP GLAAD.

    The filmmaker should create a sequel about GLAAD called "Ticked-off bored PC old queens with press releases"

    Posted by: George | Mar 26, 2010 12:49:20 PM

  2. Fuck GLAAD.

    This movie has been talked about over the past 6+ months, for GLAAD to say they just found out about it is very telling indeed. They are liars OR they are failures at doing their job OR both.

    My husband and I hope the film finds distribution outside of NYC and LA/SF so we can watch it in a theater with other queers cheering on the trannies with their blood-dripping knives as they carve up each basher.

    Posted by: Mike in Asheville | Mar 26, 2010 1:17:24 PM

  3. Someone forgot to make their monthly donation to GLAAD.

    Posted by: crispy | Mar 26, 2010 1:26:00 PM

  4. The tactics used by those who oppress trans people invoke fear, loathing and morbid fascination (eg the bathroom predator meme), the very emotions that this movie is using to gain attention with its title and trailer. The community's enemies use this fear and loathing to oppress gay and lesbian lives as well. That a film by a supposed member of our community mimics their tactics is unacceptable and will be called out every time it happens.

    Israel Luna wrote and directed a film about trans women when he is not trans and not a woman. His arrogance in thinking he could write well about things he has no clue about is what bothers me the most about this film.

    Posted by: Emelye Waldherr | Mar 26, 2010 2:09:44 PM

  5. Emelye, so people shouldn't make art about people that aren't exactly like them? Yeah, that's enlightened. By your reasoning women should never write about men, nor men about women, nor gays about straights, or trans about gays, etc. This is the type of reasoning that wedges the gl/t communities. From the interviews with the trans actresses in the film, they really liked it, thought it was appropriate and the real outrage seems to be the use of real people's names in the teaser/trailer which is not in the film. The use of the word Tranny seems to be an issue, although I have heard MANY trans women use the term - but that's probably reclamation. But since the filmmaker isn't trans it's not ok? Not sure I buy that. I get not liking the film (it doesn't look very good from the youtube vids available) but to say it's not good because the filmmaker isn't trans is a poor argument.

    Posted by: wtf | Mar 26, 2010 3:33:44 PM

  6. No one would see this film except for a bunch of artsy geeks, anyway, so GLAAD is just taking on a non-issue here.

    Posted by: JT | Mar 26, 2010 4:40:09 PM

  7. The bottom line is: Violence against transfolk, which is at epidemic proportions not only in this country but all over the world, is not funny and is not appropriate subject matter for an exploitation flick. Abramovitch is ignorant: Only a governing body can practice censorship, so that's not what GLAAD's criticism is. It's not unreasonable to demand that filmmakers be sensitive to your basic humanity. Unfortunately, "Ticked-Off Trannies" and the way it's being defended reveals the contempt all too many Gay men hold for transwomen. Muchas gracias to Israel Luna and the Tribeca Film Festival for sowing more division among LGBT people and doing it in an especially vicious way.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Mar 29, 2010 6:44:47 PM

  8. everyone deserves a 'sploitation film..even trannies

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 30, 2010 1:42:50 AM

  9. as a trans gal(aswell i dnt lyk labels;tho im describing tngs) ; i really dnt lyk diz juz dose notng 2 support nor embrace transgenderism(but i know diz is all a $ ploy,wif d title),so im sure laughs will b met,whether gud or bad of transgenderism;

    (tho its gud im not alone n i wont fyn it funny,even if glaad n others myt b slow 2 respond 2 d substance fo wutevre d rezen) ;...

    but anyway ; i mysef rather b n d real kill bill (so if ur reading quentin tarantino[call my raggedy phone])'s(laughing nwards)...

    Posted by: s | May 9, 2010 5:35:18 AM

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