The Trans Joker & some Rosie & Ellen beef
Gay capitalism strikes again. Last Wednesday, we, mostly against our will, became aware of a faux relationship announcement. On their shared Instagram, Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness and Antoni Porowski posted of photo of the supposedly “in love” with a captain that read “And to think it all started as a joke. Happy to report that we’re finally together as partners - for real this time :) More tomorrow.” Fans quickly surmised that not all was as it seems, and one astute internet sleuth noted that the only other account their shared Instagram follows is @yummerspets a pet food supplement brand. They were planning on announcing this news the following day, but the gag was revealed in a Gawker article published just hours after the original Instagram post.
And lo and behold, the claims made in the Gawker article came true. The following day, a zoomed-out photo of that same image showed JVN and Antoni holding said pet food with the captain “We’re partners in *business* you pervs!” Reactions ranged from eye-rolling amusement to legitimate annoyance. In response, JVN created an imaginary Venn diagram of people who care about how silly the gag was but don’t care about marriage equality. What? Like most internet drama, the jokes were taken far too seriously and it turned into political grandstanding. After all is said and done, we’re still not sure what Yummers Pets is actually selling. (What even are “mix-ins” and “functional toppers?” Don’t answer that.)
Trans Joker shut down. One of the most interesting films to come out of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is The People’s Joker, from director/writer/star Vera Drew. The film uses The Joker and Harley Quinn to explore gender transition and the trans experience. In theory, the film should be covered by the First Amendment under the parody clause, which protects content that uses pre-existing property in a comedic manner. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. served the film a cease and desist order and all the upcoming screenings of the film have been canceled.
According to Polygon, the film is a fairly radical, mostly crowdfunded vision, so it’s a shame its future is now in flux. As Brenden Gallagher wrote on Twitter, the current state of the film is sadly ironic: “the film is literally about how massive IP conglomerates make the creation of art impossible under capitalism, so the rights issue is both a travesty and an extension of the artwork,” he said. The People’s Joker is certainly an interesting litmus text regarding the power of conglomerates in protecting their IP, but it also marks an exciting moment in trans cinema, should the film ever be released widely. Keep your eyes peeled for more on this trans David and Goliath story.
Lesbian beef explained? There’s long been a rumored beef between Ellen and Rosie O’Donnell (have you ever seen them together?), and we’ve finally got a hint of an explanation. Rosie was on Watch What Happens Live last week, and Andy asked about a peculiar fact: Rosie never appeared on Ellen’s show a single time over its 19 seasons, despite the fact that Rosie in many ways paved the way for Ellen’s show by being a lesbian talk show host herself.
Rosie went on to explain that she was never invited on the show apart from one time near the end of its run, and recalled an interview Ellen did with Larry King where she bluntly said “I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends.” Rosie seems to have taken great offense to this statement, especially considering the fact that she still remembers this quote nearly twenty years later. Rosie has previously expressed her disgust with Ellen for disrespecting her queen, Barbra Streisand, by giving her first billing on her show. (She reportedly emailed Ellen’s producer and told them to “Go to hell.”) Now that’s some bad blood.
Other dispatches from the little gay people inside the internet:
Abbi Jacobson’s book is being reprinted due to the fervor of A League of Their Own fans.
Beth Ditto plays a country music star in a new show called Monarch, which Autostraddle’s Heather Hogan calls “Empire meets Nashville meets season one of Riverdale.”
Timothée Chalamet was looking very Shane the other day.
For some reason, Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh was at the Queen’s funeral, and the pictures are inexplicably hilarious.
Cardi B celebrated Bisexual Awareness Week with an incredible clapback to a biphobic tweet.
The Netflix film Do Revenge is out, and it may or may not feature a scene where two girls kiss while Muna’s “Silk Chiffon” is playing.
We've been covering a lot of pop culture to date. But we've always had a goal to go beyond that and just needed the time and resources to get there. Today is an exciting day because we are kicking off a series of interviews with some incredible queer founders, artists, organizers, and humans making an impact in their communities. Our first interview features a conversation about organizing queer events with Lyla Addada, founder of Dyke Nite Baltimore.
Here is a sneak preview!
Describe Dyke Nite in one sentence or a few words? Cruising, and sweating!!! The universal experience is that you're going to SWEAT!!
Dream event if you had unlimited budget? (what would the party look like / who would be there ) DREAM EVENT!!! Hands down- I want to do a big outdoor leather day party. Like Folsom style, shut down the street, have leather dykes from all over the country show up, do performances and demos and have outdoor vendors. Every year I think "maybe by next Pride..." but the budget doesn't match the dream quite yet haha
In addition to checking out Dyke Nite we also highly recommend you check out Lyla's other venture FRUIT LEATHER. FRUIT LEATHER was born in 2016 out of a frustration with the accessibility of sizing in leather fetish. The brand has always been about promoting queer joy: to make pieces that people feel confident and comfortable in.
Lyla, you are incredible - thank you for speaking with us.
Until next time,
Someone who’s seen the terrible lesbian movie Bloomington one too many times