‘The People’s Joker’ Creator Vera Drew Vows To Screen The Parody Film Again In A Defiant Statement On Its Legal Status

After her unauthorized parody, The People’s Joker, was pulled from the TIFF lineup after one showing, creator Vera Drew is setting the record straight on the film’s legal status and its future. In a new statement arriving after an outpouring of support for the “queer coming of age Joker Origin story,” Drew vowed to screen the film again once she locks down a distribution partner. As for the legal status of the film, Drew said that she went to “great lengths” to make sure The People’s Joker fell under “parody/fair use.”

More importantly, Drew never received a “cease and desist” from Warner Bros. Discovery, who owns the rights to the DC Comics characters. Instead, she received an “angry letter,” which prompted her to scale back the screening and shield TIFF from any blowback after they were generous enough not to pull the film entirely.

Drew ended her statement with a defiant message for the parody film’s supporters: “Free The People’s Joker!”

You can read Drew’s full statement below:

The eve of our premiere …. A media conglomerate that shall remain nameless sent me an angry letter (misreported as a “cease and desist”) pressuring to not screen. Any other film festival would have pulled us immediately, but after being fully transparent with TIFF, we agreed to premiere as planned while scaling back our later screenings to mitigate potential blowback. It was disappointing (especially since I went to great lengths with legal counsel to have it fall under parody/fair use) but I made this choice to protect our film’s future and to protect our new friends at TIFF who have been some of PJ’s biggest advocates.

The People’s Joker will screen again very soon at several other festivals worldwide. We are humbly seeking a distribution partner who believes in what we are doing, will protect us, and will eventually help us make this film accessible to trans people and their families everywhere.


So it appears this is far from over!

(Via Vera Drew on Twitter)