Entertainment behind the scenes
(Reporting by Edith Honan)
“Transploitation.” Depending on your definition, it means either a) an exciting, entertaining way of celebrating transgender women, or b) a reinforcement of an unfair stereotype. Either way, one thing is for certain, the question of what “transploitation” is, has become a controversial subject at this week’s Tribeca Film Festival.
The fuss centers on a new movie, “Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives,” a revenge fantasy that is as violent as it is campy which had premiere here over the weekend. The movie tells of a group of transgender friends who seek vengeance on their attackers. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) several weeks ago called for it to be pulled from the event that has become a key stop on the global film festival circuit. At the film’s debut, about 25 protesters passed out literature and held up signs saying the story dehumanized the transgender community. “This is not a gig for us. We are women who were born with birth challenges,” said the protest’s organizer, Ashley Love. “These people are mocking our lives.” But director Israel Luna said he hoped people would watch the entire film and give it a chance.
We were out the red carpet to ask the question and in the videos above you can watch Krystal Summers and Erica Andrews, who appear in the movie, defend it. And Stefanie Rivera, one of the protesters, explains why she thinks Tribeca should shut it down.
It seems almost everyone is jumping on the “Glee” bandwagon — the TV show about singing high school misfits won a Golden Globe award this past January, viewership spiked upward on last week’s return to U.S. airwaves last week, and the program is rapidly making veteran character actor Jane Lynch (who plays cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester) a Hollywood star.
Add to the group of “Glee” admirers, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD. The organization dedicated to promoting positive images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in the media gave out awards on Saturday at a swanky fundraiser in Los Angeles and, perhaps it was no surprise, “Glee” was picked as best TV comedy. Series creator Ryan Murphy let slip a preview of next year’s plots. Chris, the gay member of the singing club, will get a boyfriend. “They are going to be prom kings and they are going to be popular,” he said to applause.
“Milk,” about the life of slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk earned 8 Oscar nominations on Thursday. At the Sundance Film Festival we talked with Ellen Huang, founder of the Queer Lounge, a program sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, about how high profile films like “Milk” have helped LGBT films reach mainstream audiences.