Blacklisted, Bullied, Threatened and Libeled

Robert Naiman, a local Urbana-Champaign activist and Jew, wanted to see my new film, Seder-Masochism, in a theater, during the week of Passover. So he arranged to rent the Art Theater for April 23rd. Then this happened:

March 29, 2019
Jerry PayonkPresident, Board of Directors, the Art Film Foundation

Dear Mr. Payonk, 
I wish to rent the Art Theater on the evening of April 23 to show the film Seder-Masochism by Nina Paley. On Monday, following the instructions on the Art Theater website, I wrote to this address: On Tuesday afternoon I received a reply email from Porshé Garner telling me that this date was available, and attaching the rental agreement. On Wednesday afternoon, I dropped off the signed and completed rental agreement, along with a check for $175, according to the instructions, half the rental fee as security deposit, believing that this would secure the date. Yesterday, I received an email from Ms. Garner telling me that she had no information about the event, including the name of the movie, even though I had included this in the rental form. I wrote back with links to information about the movie. Today Ms. Garner told me by phone that at her discretion, the Art would not allow me to rent the theater to show the movie because of political controversy apparently not related to the movie. 
I was shocked. There was nothing in the information on the website or the form that suggested to me that I would be prevented from renting the theater to show a movie because of any political controversy apparently not related to the movie. I do not understand this at all. I believe that my rights of free expression are being violated by the apparent decision of Ms. Garner not to allow me to rent the theater to show a movie based on my political views. In addition, I feel betrayed as someone who has been a longtime patron, supporter, and booster of the Art. I have repeatedly donated money to the Art, including recently in response to your appeal to help raise “25K in 25 Days,” and encouraged others to do so. 
I urge you to use whatever power you have to reverse Ms. Garner’s apparent decision to prevent me from renting the Art theater to show a movie, based on my political views.  
Robert Reuel Naiman
Policy Director
Just Foreign Policy

Robert received this reply the next day:

From: Jerald T. Payonk <>
Date: Mon, Apr 1, 2019 at 2:39 PM
Subject: RE: request to overturn apparent decision to bar me from renting the Art to show a movie
To: Robert Naiman <>


Mr. Naiman:

I will being your issue up to the Board in the next day and get back to you immediately.

Thanks you,

Jerald T. Payonk, PE

Clark Dietz, Inc.


2 days later, he received this:

Mr. Naiman:
Last night the Art Film Foundation Board of Directors discussed your request to rent the Art Theater to show the film Seder-Masochism by Nina Paley. The Board supports our Executive Director’s decision to deny this rental.

Jerald T. Payonk
Art Film Foundation Board President

Because I’m blacklisted in my town, this Jew can’t show my Jewish movie on the Jewish holiday of Passover. Passover is what Seder-Masochism is about — not “gender,” which I’m constantly reminded my “controversial” “hateful” “violent” views about are revolting, even if some still deign to show the film anyway, reminding me they TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH ME ABOUT GENDER (because I say penises are male, which isn’t even about gender – it’s about sex).

Meanwhile, a typical member of the Champaign Urbana Liberal Transactivists (you figure out the acronym) publishes the following about me on social media:


Since it’s important to know your local promoters of hateful ideologies and how they are organizing, I wanted to share that our local outspoken transphobe Nina Paley recently joined the “alternative influence network”. She did this by teaming up to do a youtube video with Jordan Peterson(You can see his AIN connection in the attached image). The AIN is a group of “scholars, media pundits and internet celebrities promoting a range of rightwing political positions, from mainstream conservatism to overt white nationalism. They are broadly united by their reactionary position: an opposition to feminism, social justice and leftwing politics and present themselves as an underdog alternative to the mainstream media.”
The clear purpose of her video with the Lobster Daddy(Jordan Peterson) was to game the youtube algorithm to help connect her TERF following with Jordan Peterson’s online tribe of alienated, resentful young men. And now when you watch her youtube videos you may also get suggestions for Jordan Peterson videos. So remember you’re under no obligation to share her videos, be her FB friend, or let her speak at your event!!
And I’m actually quite unsure about the best practices to deal with her ongoing attacks and harassment of the trans community and anyone who shows support for trans rights. I personally feel being around people who are aware of these ideologies and have taken some time to understand how they operate is a good start for creating supportive community. So with that in mind I’ll share some resources in the comments that examine TERF and Lobster Daddy ideologies and practices. And please feel free to do the same!

(This should go without saying, but: I am not right-wing, nor white supremacist, nor transphobic, and I did do an interview with Jordan Peterson.)

Lying about me as above serves to target me further among the local vulnerable dyed-hair populace. One of whom was met with by my friend C. after my March 23 panel at the Library (more on that below). Speaking of which, I reserved the library auditorium for that talk 6 weeks prior to the event. One week before, some Champaign Urbana Liberal Transactivists (I should really use an acronym) reserved the same room on the same day for a counter-event. Here are some screenshots from an organizer, targeting me by name and rife with “jokes” (not) about crowbars and “starting shit”:






After the panel and counter-event, my friend C encountered a be-wigged man she knew outside the library, who declared in public he didn’t attend the panel because “I would have tried to kill Nina Paley.”

“Why?” asked C.

“Because she says I’m not a woman!”

According to C, this person is a large man, who nobody thinks is a woman, and who feels comfortable expressing a desire to kill me, in public, supported by his friends and other Champaign Urbana Liberal Transactivists (acronym).

Blacklisted, Bullied, Libeled, Threatened: you’d think someone would be interested in my civil liberties. But it wouldn’t be the ACLU, because last year they officially decided “marginalized communities” (men) are more important than Freedom of Speech:

On June 21, 2018, a leaked memo showed that the ACLU has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm marginalized groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,” the ACLU declared in guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.”[381] 


So, while I’m blacklisted, bullied, libeled, and threatened, the Illinois ACLU is getting this male prisoner who strangled his cellmate into a women’s prison. He identifies as a woman now, making him the “most marginalized,” while my saying penises are male is “hate speech.” (Like everyone else I don’t want male prisoners harassed and assaulted by male cellmates, and would totally support transgender wings in male prisons for the protection of such persons, but housing a violent male who strangled his male cellmate to death with vulnerable women is insane and evil).

And that’s why I’m blacklisted (and bullied, libeled, and threatened).

Related reading: Open Letter to the University of Illinois


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

27 thoughts on “Blacklisted, Bullied, Threatened and Libeled”

  1. Nina,

    Corinna here! It was great to appear with you at the Urbana Free Library when we spoke on the topic of sex and gender. It seems like the people in your community have fallen under some strange spell. Maybe we can try to rent that theater to do a showing of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible? They seem like people who conceive of themselves as being politically liberal with values of justice, but that they’re willing to behave in horrendous ways towards their fellow citizens if they violate some unexplainable standard.

    By the way, if you’re looking for a *real* civil rights group to support, I recommend the Institute for Justice, who recently won one of the biggest civil rights victories in a decade ( The ACLU is a shell of its former self, but things change–and critically, we can change them. 🙂

    Just like the McCarthy-era blacklisting passed, this too will also pass, and I hope it does quickly. People need to pull their heads out of the social media toilet and try to clean up their poisoned cognitions.

  2. I self-identify as a 6′ 8″ NBA first-round draft pick. If you don’t respect my truth, you’re a bigot.

  3. This doesn’t feel like something that can go on forever. Sooner or later these ‘activists’ are going to start boring their audience and will have to join a whole different movement if they want to keep beating people up. Nina punching will be so 2018.

    Hope for the future is the next crop of teenagers who will roll their eyes at everything lame their parents take seriously.

    Prank: see if the Art allows screening Birth of a Nation. Claim it is ironic.

  4. Part of me thinks you should make a movie about identity so their harassment of your art will at least make sense. Another part of me thinks you should make a movie about bicycles or something you love so you can completely ignore them.

  5. I am afraid to reveal myself as I am shortly to become a school teacher, but this is not what freedom of thought or expressing is. To say penis=male/vagina = female is not to deny dignity to someone or to label them subhuman if they feel differently about themselves.

    I agree with the points you’ve raised here, and the issue of Trans-rights is getting sticky now with a vocal minority pushing for so much inclusion and 2% of students in my state claiming they no longer identify with the body they were born in. I read somewhere that in the UK the vast majority of young people who are experiencing Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria are girls. Many of the students with ROGD are on the autism spectrum (again, not sure the source of that). So, are we just not doing our best in society to show young people that they don’t have to feel as if they need to ‘be manly’ or ‘be feminine’ if it’s not who they are? Are the kids going through this gender struggle just not being made to feel accepted as gay? Are they attracted to being ‘different’ the way some students identify as goth or hippie, or as a stoner?

    Who knows. But one thing is for sure, there is a whole medical field waiting to take young people in as fodder for drugs/therapy (can you imagine the conferences and specialized trainings that will open up for therapists? Just like the multiple personality craze of the 90’s)/hormones/surgeries. These are not light decisions for kids to be making, and I am seeing it happening very quickly.

    I don’t hear you saying anything radically hateful. I fear letting this go lightly in society. I wonder if it will fade away from the mainstream like ‘dropping-out’ and communes in the 60’s did, or if there will be a point of no-return and we will be forced to create co-ed +plus bathrooms where you have zero right to question anyone’s presence in a vulnerable space. I don’t think this is safe for anyone.

  6. My support goes out to you Nina. The only thing this CULT is attacking is art. Ordinary people will mistake their irrational hatered and violence for positive intentions. It’s ironic and stomach churning to say the least. Don’t let it shake you, this will pass. Your animation skill and vibrant portrayals of semitic history will continue to inspire young animators and artists. The CULT campaign against you is wrong on so many levels.

  7. If you invite a Palestinian to watch your movie (this can be done since the movie is about how woke Jews reevaluate the oppressive the patriarchic Judaism) no one would dare to protest against your view on LGBTQ whatever, since none of those are compatible with Islam.

  8. Those hysterical nutters are projecting like crazy. They’re allegedly against binary thought, yet their brains are all wrapped around false dichotomies. They’re thinking like absolute simpletons. I saw a thread on another blog claiming that feminists who don’t think transwomen are women are aligning themselves with the “Christian right”. Seriously? Are these people unable to fit more than two ideas in their little minds? Also, it’s obvious who the ones displaying hatred, bigotry and violence are.

  9. Nina, I am with you all the way. I love your art and the way you get it out there. I admire and share your opinions. I am a pensioner, artist, woman and supporter of the free speech stand and much of the work of Jordan Peterson. Keep fighting the good fight my dear!

  10. I understand the trans community is disproportionately subject to bullying, violence, discrimination, HIV infection, etc.
    But, harassing a filmmaker is a top priority.

  11. Silly me! Here I thought you were, and ARE, an intelligent, artistic person simply expressing her opinion. I’m certainly a cisgender feminist, but I have better uses for a crowbar than going after folks with it.

  12. These “activists” must have got their play book straight from Stalin — they are NOT liberals. They know they are incapable of defending their positions with facts and logic, so they need to vilify those that don’t agree with them, and try to prevent any other opinion from being heard or even thought about.

  13. Nina, Don’t give up the fight! Your work is too good to be stopped by this new Taliban.
    In my humble opinion you should find a pro bono lawyer to take on the theatre. And report these threatening knuckle-dragging cretins to the cops.

  14. “The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

    – Me

  15. AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. OMG how can people be so stupid? …free speech can harm marginalized groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality??? Wake me up when people stop being jackasses.

  16. The tactics used by TRAs are disturbingly similar to those employed by domestic abusers.

    JohnathanM, if you’re able to overlook the threats of violence made against MS. Paley, which are displayed in plain sight on this post in language that’s simple enough even for someone such as yourself to understand, the problem isn’t hers. Unfortunately, comments such as yours are typical CULT reasoning, if one uses reasoning in the loosest sense possible. Dismissive of the violence, silencing, and demonizing of women inherent in the movement, and a blatant exaggeration of the discrimination faced by trans-identifying Americans, most of whom are wealthy white males. Males who, by the way, continue to behave with male aggression and entitlement in spite of the presence of such things as wigs and eyeliner. One would almost conclude that these things did not a woman make. 😉

    A movement with no reason on its side, only theatrics, cannot go on forever. Eventually it will lose steam. Perhaps when this happens, some of the CULT will attempt to identify as logical human beings. Or, better yet, to BE logical humans beings. One can only hope.

  17. Send this to Tablet Magazine–I think Liel Leibovitz is the smartest writer there. These MRA block women in the arts all the time. They silence, they harrase, they threaten and slander. Most of the neo left and their adjuncts are cowards. Expose them.

  18. Dear Nina

    I came to this page via Jordan Peterson’s Twitter feed. I’m aghast at what you’ve written on this page. At this rate our universities will soon be irrelevant institutions unworthy of taxpayer funding, perhaps they already are.

    Hang in there and be strong. I, for one, will now be checking out your work.

  19. I really feel for you. Its outrageous the awful bullying youve experienced on the basis of being a woman in the arts holding science based beliefs.

    It seems that there really is an art science divide and if you support science, youre considered a traitor to the arts! Only fiction and fantasy in work and beliefs allowed.

    What a bunch of religious authoritarians these activists are.

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