The director, David France, denied the allegations in a Facebook post.
Over the weekend, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson premiered on Netflix, a documentary attempting 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.
In the Instagram post, Gossett alleged that France used her personal grant application video and archival research on Johnson to apply for his own grants and funding. She went on to state that France actively worked to have a video of a Sylvia Rivera speech, posted by Gossett, taken off Vimeo.
“This week while I'm borrowing money to pay rent, david france is releasing his multimillion dollar netflix deal on marsha p johnson,” Gossett wrote. “I'm still lost in the music trying to #pay_it_no_mind and reeling on how this movie came to be and make so much $ off of our lives and ideas.”
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.”
Mock also shared background info on Gossett's work and a link to donate directly to Happy Birthday, Marsha, a fictional film written and directed by Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, which is currently in post-production.
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.”
“It seemed there was room in the landscape for both films with very different stories, methods and approaches,” France wrote. He shared his statement to the film's website as well.
“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.
“Today, this black trans woman’s work about a black trans woman was used to make a film helmed by a credentialed white cis man aided by Netflix’s millions,” Mock wrote.
The trailer for Gossett’s own film, Happy Birday, Marsha, can be viewed online.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Gossett for comment.