Over the weekend, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson premiered on Netflix. The documentary attempts to shed new light on the still-unsolved murder of trans activist Marsha P. Johnson.
On Saturday, trans filmmaker and activist Reina Gossett posted a personal message to Instagram accusing the director of the Netflix film, David France, of stealing her ideas and research on Johnson to create his film.
“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,” Gossett continued in her Instagram message.
Gossett's accusations spread quickly after activist and author Janet Mock shared her original post via Twitter, adding, “Filmmaker David France released a Netflix doc Friday about Marsha P. Johnson. It is based on Reina Gossett’s work.”
David France personally responded to Mock's tweet, stating that he first began researching Johnson's life in 1992 (the year Johnson was killed) as a reporter for the Village Voice. France claimed that he did in fact reach out to Gossett, well into his work, concerned that they could be "duplicating efforts."
Mock quickly dismissed the France's statement, tweeting, "Support looks like stepping aside, using your access/priv to produce Reina's work."
When Twitter users questioned portions of France's statement, he responded directly to some of them.
On Sunday, France followed up his initial response with a Facebook post in which he stated, "Nothing in the film’s concept, research or execution came from anyone outside of this process or our immediate team."
France concluded his statement by announcing that he has connected Gossett, and her codirector Sasha Wortzel, with his own funder and looks forward to "her beautiful film."
"Reina is a black trans woman who reintroduced our generation to ourselves by uncovering and recentering trans women of color revolutionaries," Mock said of Gossett in an Instagram post, published on Sunday.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Gossett for comment.