Netflix Picks Up Streaming Rights to Marsha P Johnson Documentary

The Stonewall icon is getting a film about her life — and untimely death

Marsha P. Johnson
Courtesy Netflix

LGBTQ icon and Stonewall Riot symbol Marsha P. Johnson is getting a documentary about her life.

Netflix announced Friday that it has picked up the worldwide rights to “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” which examines her life and untimely death.

Johnson was a drag queen, transgender woman and vocal activist known as one of the first people to fight back in the Greenwich Village Stonewall Riots of 1969. In later years she, along with friend Sylvia Rivera, went on to found the world’s first trans-rights organization: Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR).

She then became the “mother” of STAR House, which became a safe haven for young trans people and kids who would normally be on the street.

However, her work was cut short when her body was found floating in New York’s Hudson River in 1992. Investigators initially ruled it a suicide, but those in the community have claimed she was the victim of foul play.

In the documentary, director, writer and producer David France — along with veteran crime-victim advocate Victoria Cruz — will look at what happened to Johnson and how the struggle for trans rights still remains today.

“Almost single-handedly, Marsha P. Johnson and her best friend Sylvia Rivera touched off a revolution in the way we talk about gender today,” France said. “Their names should be household words. But Marsha’s life was cut tragically short and Sylvia died shortly thereafter, the victim of a broken heart.”

“Her effervescent spirit and pioneering leadership of the LGBT movement is illuminated with an eloquent force by director David France and is a true testament to the power of documentary films,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of original documentary programming at Netflix.

“Grey’s Anatomy” actress Sara Ramirez is executive producing, along with Joy A. Tomchin. L.A. Deodosio also produced.

The film will launch on Netflix later this year.