Entertainment » Movies

Angela Robinson Cuts Ties with "Girltrash" and POWER UP

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Monday Nov 4, 2013

After shooting the new lesbian film "Girltrash: All Night Long," award-winning writer and director Angela Robinson has announced that she has cut all ties with the film and the lesbian networking group POWER UP, which produced it. Robinson cites creative differences and professional, moral and ethical issues as her reason for parting ways, but gossip mongers credit brewing tensions between Robinson and POWER UP co-founder and executive director Stacey Codikow.

"Working with Stacy Codikow and POWER UP has been, without a doubt, the worst experience of my career," wrote Robinson in an official statement. "Because Stacy has been so horrible I will never again be involved in any project in which Stacy Codikow or POWER UP is involved."

With offices in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, the Professional Organization of Women in Entertainment Reaching Up (POWER UP) has bankrolled short films by its members, has held industry workshops and provides a resume bank for Hollywood filmmakers looking for talent.

Robinson -- one of the executive producers of HBO’s "True Blood" and a co-executive producer of HBO’s "Hung" and Showtime’s "The L Word" - who is also known for directing the films "D.E.B.S." & "Herbie: Fully Loaded," was an early supporter of POWER UP, when it was founded in 2000. She initially partnered with the non-profit group to produce a prequel to her successful web series "Girltrash."

"I was trying to find a way to make affordable, quality lesbian entertainment and develop a brand that would encompass web series, movies, television, graphic novels and stage musicals," wrote Robinson in her statement. "To this end, after first making a web series and a penning a graphic novel, I produced ’Girltrash: All Night Long’ with Stacy Codikow."

According to Curve Magazine, "Girltrash: All Night Long is the outrageously fun story of five girls who share one "epic night" together. Starring Lisa Rieffel, Michelle Lombardo, Gabrielle Christian, Mandy Musgrave, Rose Rollins, Clementine Ford, Kate French, and Killola, the film jumps back and forth between lust and love to girl fights and rock ’n’ roll.

"In its’ genre of musical comedy, ’Girltrash: All Night Long’ is sure to continue to captivate audiences who are looking for some on screen lesbian adventure with a little bit of love on the side," wrote Curve.

But Robinson said that while she valued her talented stars, she was less pleased with her experience making and producing the film. She said that it did not live up to her understanding of POWER UP’s standards, and after the group’s announcement of an unauthorized Oct. 24 screening in Palm Springs, Robinson officially cut her ties with the film and the group.

"I love the movie and each and every person that tirelessly worked on this project -- the crew and mentees that donated their time and energy for free or for cut rates, the incredible musicians, Lisa Rieffel and Johnny Dunn, who wrote fantastic songs, the awesome actors who worked all night long for months on end, Luke Tierney, the composer and Chris Hill, the editor, and of course, Alex Kondracke, the amazing director. I am extremely proud of the work that was done," wrote Robinson in her statement.

"But POWER UP is presenting a version of the film that I have not seen, that is unfinished and that has not been creatively approved by me and as a result, I do not support nor validate any screenings or commercial sales of "Girltrash: All Night Long" at this time," she continued.

This is not the first time that allegations of impropriety have surrounded Codikow. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, in 2002, POWER UP co-founder and onetime publicist Karen Pearson Brown filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing Codikow of making unwanted sexual overtures and sexually offensive comments, e-mailing her a lewd photograph, inquiring about the sex life of Brown and her partner, and demanding Brown’s resignation after learning Brown was bisexual.

"You cannot be a founder of POWER UP if you are with men," Codikow told Brown, according to the suit. "This is a lesbian organization."
Brown left the organization and filed suit, and Codikow fired back in legal briefs, alleging that it was Brown who made unwanted sexual overtures and that she twice removed her clothes at Codikow’s home in a failed attempt at seduction.

Brown’s "tawdry allegations are completely false," Codikow said in a statement released by her publicist. "It is truly regrettable that Pearson [Brown] is abusing the legal system and civil rights laws by trying to extract money from a non-profit organization."

POWER UP has announced a Dec. 15 release date of the highly anticipated film. For more information, visit http://www.girltrashallnightlong.com

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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