3/25/10

GLADD Demands That Ticked Off Trannies with Knives Be Pulled from Tribeca Film Festival

GLAAD Contacts: Taj Paxton, Director of Entertainment Media,
(323) 634-2028,
paxton@glaad.org

Rich Ferraro, Director of Public Relations,
(646) 871-8011,
ferraro@glaad.org

GLAAD was recently alerted by community members and allies to a film called Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives that will be screened at the upcoming 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.

Misrepresenting the Lives of Transgender WomenWriter/director Israel Luna based his film on the "exploitation films" of the 1970s such as I Spit On Your Grave, about a woman who was raped and sought revenge on her attackers. The five lead characters in Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives are brutally attacked by a group of men; two do not survive the attack, but the surviving three seek gruesome revenge on their attackers. The film is a pastiche of graphic violence and horror movie clich├ęs, with a few scenes of campy humor.

Sign the petition Here

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.

*Caution Trailer contains graphic violence*



Sign The Petition Here

However, while 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.

Because of its positioning as a transgender film, viewers unfamiliar with the lives of transgender women will likely leave this film with the impression that transgender women are ridiculous caricatures of "real women." It demeans actual transgender women who struggle for acceptance and respect in their day-to-day lives and to be valued for their contributions to our society.

Exploiting and Sensationalizing Anti-Transgender ViolenceTransgender people are a marginalized and vulnerable minority in our culture, subjected to horrific hate crimes and pervasive discrimination. Relatively few media images of transgender people exist, so every media image becomes essential in educating audiences about transgender lives and working to eliminate the discrimination and violence they face.

In this context, it is irresponsible and insulting to make a film that serves up graphic anti-transgender violence as a "hook" for an homage to B-movies of the 1970s. Anti-LGBT hate crimes are serious issues that do not translate into an exploitation film. The very nature of exploitation films is to shock and titillate audiences with extreme, sensationalized violence.

Sign The Petition Here

Films like Boys Don’t Cry and A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story have graphically portrayed the murders of transgender people. In a serious dramatic context, such depictions convey the tragic reality of the violence that many transgender people face. But in this film, repeated shots of a baseball bat covered in clumps of hair and blood are grotesque – and serve only as horror movie-like gore. Depictions of violence and brutality are immediately followed by ridiculous scenes that make light of the horrific crimes that have been committed. There is nothing funny about the murders of the countless LGBT people who have fallen victim to hate-motivated violence.

Furthermore, the filmmakers have chosen to market Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives using a crass trailer that opens with references to the recent murders of Angie Zapata and Jorge Mercado, putting their brutal murders on par with the outlandish violence in this film.
Sign The Petition Here

GLAAD finds it troubling that the respected Tribeca Film Festival would give a film that sensationalizes anti-transgender violence and misrepresents the lives of transgender women, a platform that affords such great exposure. The Tribeca Film Festival has a history of screening powerful LGBT films, such as the GLAAD Media Award-nominated Quentin Crispbiopic An Englishman in New York, and the GLAAD Media Award-winning film Transamerica, about a transgender woman reconnecting with her son. Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives does not meet, and in fact devalues, the standard of excellence established by the festival.

GLAAD has reached out to writer/director Israel Luna, the film’s producer and the Tribeca Film Festival, and both have refused to take responsibility for the problematic content and offensive marketing of this film.

We urge you to contact the Tribeca Film Festival and call on them to pull Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives from their schedule.

Tammie RosenVice-President of Communications - Tribeca Film Festivalhttp://www.glaad.org/calltoaction/trosen@tribecaenterprises.com
(212) 941-2003

David KwokDirector of Programming – Tribeca Film Festivaldkwok@tribecafilmfestival.org
(212) 941-2420

Kimberly Kress
Senior VP, Rubenstein Communications
(212) 843-9394
kkress@rubenstein.com
Film & Programming
(212) 941-2305

To send an email with suggested text to the Tribeca Film Festival contacts above, go to glaad.org/2010/calltoaction/tribeca.

Concerned community members have developed a Facebook group called "Boycott 'Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives' at the Tribeca Film Festival" that you can join at Here.

4 Comments :

DuncanReuss said...

You're idiots, just because it has comedic points in it doesn't mean it is making light on fucking transgender women. I mean really =/ Don't get butthurt over it not EVERY movie with transgenders has to put things in a positive light, and I personally like the movie and thought it was good. I didn't get any of these ideas you're apparently saying people will get. This movie doesn't make it to where it says beating up transgenders is okay, I mean for fuck sake they end up going to kill their fucking attackers. I think that puts it to where they are making Transgenders look STRONG, so basically it is positive by saying transgenders don't take offenses to their person or other trans genders lightly. Have a nice day trying to ruin something with your stupid insight.

DuncanReuss said...

Second, if this movie were saying that then why did the transgender actors in the movie act in the movie? They wouldn't of stood for it if they thought it was doing that right? Your arguments make no sense. =/ I might actually listen to your little guilt trip on this movie if you can get the actors to also be on your side.

Kelli Anne Busey said...

"Don't get butt hurt" is so gay DuncanReuss, you must be a silly faggot. I find it amusing during the period of time this movie premired a bunch of silly faggots got the shit beat out of them by real men with baseball bats in Oak Lawn just a few miles away from where this movie was filmed.

And the silly faggots at the Dallas Voice and the gaybohood SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER that the attackers used dafamatory lanuguage while hitting them with baseball bats.

They called them faggots.

Well DuncanReuss, you can't have it both ways. If you are a silly faggot as I suspect you are, you must respect other minorities inorder to be respected.

Untill you do that, you're just a silly faggot to me and the next real man who encouraged by your lack of respect for the gender diverse attacks a homosexual with a baseball bat in the Dallas Gayborhood.

Luna should make a halarious movie about a bunch of silly faggots getting their heads split open and left to die.

So, its not so amusing any more, is it.

And the couple of trans 'actors' who jumped on the chance to betray their community for a chance fame and money? Crystal is living with the guilt and the others? It takes all kinds.

Kelli Anne Busey said...

While you read my retort to your inane comment DuncanReuss, a transgender person was slaughter. Most trans people who are murdered die of massive blunt trama.

The kind caused by a weapon like a bat.

At a average of 1.5 every other day.

I have been left for dead twice.

2 weeks ago someone at my new jod left a message on my computor terminal "killed".

This is dead serious,for me and all of my community and not some fantasy movie written and directed by a rentboy desperate for attention.