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Trans Joker Parody Pulled from TIFF Over Warner Bros Claims

Trans Joker Parody Pulled from TIFF Over Warner Bros Claims

Trans Joker Parody Pulled from TIFF Over Warner Bros Claims

The People's Joker premiered Tuesday, but that may be the only screening that ever happens.

rachelkiley

Fresh off the uproar over shelving a nearly-finished Batgirl, Warner Bros is now allegedly blocking screenings of a queer parody film involving DC’s Joker.

The People’s Joker is described as a trans coming-of-age narrative about an aspiring clown grappling with her gender identity while forming an underground comedy troupe and combating a fascistic caped crusader.

Directed and co-written by Vera Drew, who also stars as the adult version of the Joker, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday night to rave reviews. However, remaining screenings were pulled and Polygon reports that a cease-and-desist order was served by Warner Bros. shortly before the premiere.

People lucky enough to have seen The People’s Joker are appalled at the turn of events, with several publicly repeating claims that the film clearly qualifies as parody and therefore WB should have no enforceable copyright claim.

The reality of the law in regards to a cease-and-desist is a little more complex, and the fact that TIFF takes place in Canada likely complicates the conversation. That said, a note ahead of the film claimed lawyers reviewed the material and believed it to fall under fair use, so if WB doesn’t back down, there may be a long and interesting fight ahead.

For now, folks excited by Drew’s trailer for The People’s Joker are mostly just frustrated about the film being pulled and the timing of Warner Bros opting to do this.

The controversy certainly isn't helping Warner Bros rapidly devolving reputation, plagued by accusations that they're stripping diversity from their existing line-up in an attempt to cater to middle America after being bought by Discovery.

But while we await the final fate of The People’s Joker — Warner Bros itself, quite frankly — you can at least check out the trailer for the movie below. As long as it's allowed to exist on the internet, anyway.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.