Depicted as humorless on the IFC show Portlandia, Portland's real-life feminist bookstore In Other Words the basis of the show's Women and Women First, and also its shooting location has lost its sense of humor about its depiction on the show. The staff of the store posted a scathing blog post declaring that they have cut ties with the show and won't allow them to film there again.
The post, titled "Fuck Portlandia," angrily describes how the Portlandia crew mistreated the store's staff and left the place "a mess" during their last location shoot several months ago, and also explains that the store, which is struggling financially, is only paid a small fee for its use as a location. Initially, after the first couple seasons of the show, the store embraced the publicity, as the Oregonian notes even posting a sign on their own bathroom door that said "As seen on 'Portlandia'."
That is no more, and it sounds like whatever embracing they did was through gritted teeth. The post goes on to declare, "The show sucks," "Gentrification isn't a joke," and accuses Fred Armisen's drag portrayal of bookstore worker Candace as being transphobic and "a deeply shitty joke whose sole punchline throws trans femmes under the bus by holding up their gender presentation for mockery and ridicule."
They also note that tourists only come to take selfies at the store which actually calls itself a feminist community center, and not a store and don't buy anything, and the popularity of the show is being used by realtors to sell property and promote gentrification, "using Portlandia’s popularity and insipid humor (‘put a bird on it!’) to make displacing the communities that made Portland a great place in the first place something twee and whimsical for the incoming technocrat hordes."
They may have a strong point, but the show's characters, Candace and Toni, portrayed by Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, do indeed mock the humorless social justice word games of those who work at such a store in a very liberal, educated town, which makes this all pretty ironic.
Willamette Weekly snapped a picture of a sign now posted on the front door of the store that says, "Fuck Portlandia! Transmisogyny - Racism - Gentrification - Queer Antagonism."
The 23-year-old non-profit bookstore has been using crowd-funding campaigns to stay afloat this year, currently trying to raise $50,000, as the Oregonian reports. And despite five years of free publicity on the show, they've been threatening to close since 2014.
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