Rule Blocking Gay And Bisexual Men From Donating Blood Gets Targeted In Ads For The Next ‘Saw’ Movie

"We want this policy changed."

When you think about those who fight for gay rights, you probably didn't think of an R-rated horror movie franchise full of torture and gore as being an entity that would support the cause. But the Saw series is doing just that with a powerful ad campaign. 

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The eighth installment, simply titled Jigsaw and out October 27, is holding a blood drive and advertising it with a series of posters called "All Types Welcome." Depicted in the ads are stars with substantial LGBT fan bases, and even features openly gay model Shaun Ross and transgender performer Amanda Lepore.

The inclusion of LGBT folks is not by coincidence as Tim Palen, Lionsgate's chief brand officer, is taking aim at the Food and Drug Administration's rule about gay and bisexual men donating blood. Due to concern about HIV, these men are prohibited from giving blood unless they've foregone sex with members of the same sex for at least a year. The Red Cross, until recently, also drew criticism for recommending that transgender people register at blood centers under the gender they were assigned with at birth.

Lepore called this practice "exclusion," "ridiculous," and "discriminatory," while Saw producer Mark Burg bluntly said, "We want this policy changed."

An FDA spokesperson named Lyndsay Meyer did note that a 2015 rule replaced a practice that was even harsher, calling it a "first step," and said there are studies happening that can "help inform further changes to policy." Red Cross spokeswoman Jodi D. Sheedy said the organization "believes all potential blood donors should be treated with fairness, equality, and respect."

Hosting a blood drive to promote a Saw film has been a tradition ever since the first film came out in 2004. Throughout the years, the franchise's initiative has resulted in the donation of 120,000 pints of blood and 360,000 lives saved because of it. This campaign is also noteworthy because it also features the most diverse collection of models to date.

The blood drive begins in New York City on October 5 and will then expand to 25 more cities. More details can be found at JigsawBloodDrive.com.

(H/T: New York Times)

Cover image via JigsawBloodDrive.com

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