Transgender Joker film has been pulled from the Toronto International Film Festival

Transgender Joker film has been pulled from the Toronto International Film Festival

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Trans filmmaker Vera Drew’s indie film The People’s Joker has been pulled from the Toronto International Film Festival after Warner Bros. reportedly issued a cease-and-desist order.

The crowd-funded parody, which Drew wrote, directed, and stars in, recasts the iconic Batman villain as a transgender comedian attempting to find her voice in an oppressive society. Drew’s character, according to the film’s official synopsis, spent years numbing herself with fictional drug before grappling with “gender identity, first love, and a fascist caped crusader all while founding an illegal comedy theatre in Gotham City.”

The film is unauthorized by Warner Bros. and DC Comics, a fact the filmmaker acknowledges in a title card that reportedly precedes the film, claiming the characters are used under U.S. fair use doctrine, which protects the use of copyrighted materials for certain purposes. In 1988, the Supreme Court established that parody is protected under the First Amendment.

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