February 13, 2023
An exciting new addition to Disney’s long-running childhood favorite Winnie the Pooh franchise is released this week in cinemas. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is an adults-only slasher flick in which Pooh and Piglet become rabid ax murderers terrorizing teenage girls in woodland areas. The film is only possible thanks to the fact that the copyright on the original author A.A. Milne’s first Pooh book, from 1926, has finally expired. Whilst Disney still owns certain specific rights to the cartoon inhabitants of the now disturbingly blood-soaked Hundred Acre Wood, they can do nothing to prevent Milne’s original version from being transformed into absolutely anything any rival filmmaker so desires, even violent snuff movies.
Compare this to the less happy fate of another revisionist spin on a well-known media franchise, The People’s Joker, in which Batman’s green-haired, white-faced archnemesis the Joker is reimagined as a lady-boy—a biological male crossed with his equally twisted girlfriend Harley Quinn via the magic of drag. The work of real-life transgender supervillain Vera Drew, the completely unauthorized take on the DC Comics character premiered at September’s 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, immediately attracting a threatening legal letter from Warner Bros. Discovery, the current rights-holders of DC Comics’ roster of fictional freaks and mutants. The film may now never be seen in public again—at least not outside of a series of invite-only “secret screenings” Drew has recently begun organizing.
Drew must have known her crowdfunded effort would have attracted the attention of offscreen versions of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law as it opens with a full-screen credit for the production’s copyright lawyer and multiple disclaimers declaring itself an unauthorized parody. Usually, such exercises are legally permitted, just so long as it is clear the movie is not an official extension of the true intellectual property being lampooned, as with Mel Brooks’ rather less trans-friendly 1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights spoof.
It would certainly be difficult to confuse The People’s Joker for a real Batman film (although, as the actual Batman rights-holders recently made the genuine version of the Joker pregnant in a comic book as a visual gag, you never know…). Drew first realized “she” (just to be clear, Vera is a man) was gay whilst watching Val Kilmer’s Batman kiss Nicole Kidman in Batman Forever and wishing to be Nicole. Thus, Drew’s film becomes a “trans coming of age story” in which a onetime ordinary Joe’s transformation into an alleged clown becomes an analog for Drew’s own transformation into an alleged woman.
Unlike the Joker, who became facially disfigured after falling into a vat of acid, necessitating his grotesque and unconvincing makeup, Drew’s own queer “Joker the Harlequin” tumbles into a vat of estrogen, making him into a similar face-powder-abusing female. The she-clown’s constant unhinged cackling is meanwhile explained as the result of being dosed up with laughing gas during forced childhood gay-conversion therapy. Whenever the antihero’s “deadname” is mouthed, it is beeped out as an unspeakable swear word; as the film premiered in Canada, where deliberately “misgendering” someone can now bring its own legal problems, this was highly appropriate.
Due to its micro-budget, the film resembles a DIY home video filled with deeply incongruous and crude 8-bit animations and clips of crowdfunding donors doing amateur impressions of Batman characters, and sounds completely unwatchable—although, thanks to the lawyers, we may never know. Yet, as the film carries an obvious left-wing message and panders toward the contemporary religion of the sacred self, most critics in Toronto gave it rave reviews, whether it deserved them or not.
The Camp Crusader
Equally telling was the newfound left-wing hostility toward copyright law the film’s canning unleashed. Capitalist behemoths like Warner Bros. had “hacked the system to extend [the length of] copyright far beyond its initial intent,” said some, whilst for others “corporate IP [intellectual property] has become a de facto religion in global cinema culture,” with The People’s Joker becoming “a blasphemous Molotov cocktail of a movie,” sticking it to the Man by not only disrupting his profit margins, but promoting nonnormative lifestyles calculated to rile Middle America. Clearly, film studios must not be allowed to give mainstream audiences what they actually want, but be forced to give them what fanatical minorities think they should want instead.
Destroying copyright law could be a great way to do this. After all, if Warner Bros. Discovery no longer held the full rights to the Joker, as Disney no longer holds the full rights to Winnie the Ripper, then he could be made as queer as queer can be. Committing intellectual property theft from rich megacorporations should be allowed, then, just so long as it is being performed by poor, “oppressed” minority groups for propaganda purposes: This really is Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Left-leaning tech website The Verge used the film to argue “copyright is broken,” applauding its status as “an illegal comic-book movie” and “a provocation designed to thumb its nose at DC’s copyright,” which “flouts the laws of narrative as much as it does the laws that govern intellectual property” (non-woke translation: It was an incoherent mess). Drew now apparently became motivated by the supposed open-source belief that “beloved fictional universes [like Batman’s] are a shared modern mythology, and people draw meaning from them in the way that artists once reinterpreted Greek myths or painted Biblical figures.”
Just as James Joyce shamelessly breached the copyright of Homer’s Odyssey to transform his native Dublin into an analog of Classical Greece in his novel Ulysses in 1922, so artists should enjoy the right to reappropriate the Joker for their own purposes today in 2022. Really, whatever the actual law says, the Joker belongs in the public domain—because then obsessive gay activists can forcibly chop his dick off and reassign him into becoming Harley Quinn.
Taking the Mickey (From Behind)
Yet conservatives can play this same game of copyright redefinition too. With Warner Bros.’ traditional cartoon rivals the Walt Disney Company increasingly seeding their output with blatant far-left homosexual mind-conditioning, Republican lawmakers have sought to fight back legally.
Today, U.S. copyrights last for seventy years after the death of the creator, or 95 from the point of creation for works produced before 1978, so Disney’s copyright on the original version of Mickey Mouse, as seen in his debut 1928 silver-screen short Steamboat Willie, expires in less than a year, on 1 January 2024, meaning he too can become an ax-waving serial killer, just like Winnie the Pooh. Given that recent extensions to copyright protection duration in the U.S. have been granted just ahead of its specific expiration in relation to Mickey, perhaps another such “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” might be in the offing in Washington?
Probably not. Whilst such extensions were passed on a bipartisan basis in the past, current Republican senators like Josh Hawley want to punish the Homosexual House of Mouse by not only returning copyright terms back to the lesser 28-year span in operation from 1909 for all future new IPs, but to apply this retrospectively to Disney, and Disney alone, thus robbing it of all rights to anything it made prior to the early 1990s.
The actual passing of Hawley’s “Copyright Clause Restoration Act” seems unlikely, the measure appearing unconstitutional. Yet it has been noted how most mainstream media, when reporting on Mickey’s looming copyright expiration, openly lament it, speaking of how Disney will “lose” copyright, rather than how the public will “gain” it, thereby allowing them to do with Mickey whatever they want, as the left simultaneously claim transsexual film directors should be able to do with the Joker.
The Verge now suddenly reversed its anti-copyright stance to mock Hawley’s “absolutely asinine piece of legislation” as being pure “regression as a meme”; returning copyright back to its 1909 status was only intended to win points within “a Republican Party whose rabid homophobia would not look out of place in 1909,” either. As Disney wants to promote homosexuality, then, they should be allowed to retain their dollar-spinning copyrights. As Warner-Discovery doesn’t want to turn kids gay, however, the situation should be reversed and they must lose their copyrights, together with their cash. Maybe the left’s true favorite Batman baddie is really Two-Face?
I applaud Republicans for resisting Disney’s descent into a state of gay moral fantasia, but subverting copyright law for conservative ends could easily entail unintended consequences, too. Republican senator Ted Cruz recently joked that Disney will soon produce a cartoon in which Mickey and his dog Pluto begin “going at it” anally on screen, an idea so extreme in its interspecies gayness that not even today’s Creepy Uncle Walt would dare draw it. But someone like Vera Drew might well have a go, should Disney indeed lose full legal control over such characters anytime soon, as Senator Hawley advocates. How long before we end up with another new queer celluloid atrocity called Winnie the Poo-Stabber?
Two copy-wrongs don’t necessarily make a copy-right.
To see how Taki’s correctly predicted a trans-friendly Batman, click here.
Daily updates with TM’s latest