'Jigsaw' Movie Ads Protest Rules Restricting Gay, Trans Blood Donors

Latest 'Saw' installment recruits social media stars to pair horror movie hype with activism

Latest installment of 'Saw' series, 'Jigsaw,' aims to pair horror movie hype with activism.

The new Saw movie is pairing its gore with a do-good spirit. The advertisements for the forthcoming movie, Jigsaw, appear to serve the dual purpose of encouraging people to donate blood ahead of the movie's October 27th release, the New York Times reports

The campaign, called "All Types Welcome" also emphasizes inclusion at a time when many argue the Food and Drug Administration perpetuates social stigmas against gay and bisexual men by prohibiting them from donating blood. According to the FDA, gay or bisexual men must abstain from same-sex relations for at least one year prior to donating blood. The deferral period is taken as a precaution against the possible spread of HIV. Prior to 2015, gay and bisexual men weren't allowed to donate any blood. 

"While acknowledging at the time that the change to a 12-month deferral was less than hoped for by some, the FDA considered this to be a first step," FDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer told The Times.

Critics of the regulation argue that advances in science have shown that the virus can now be detected in the bloodstream in as little as one week. Jason Cianciotto of Harlem United, a New York-based HIV advocacy group, told Rolling Stone earlier this year that the rule discriminates against men based on sexual orientation and is based on little more than a mixture of fear and outdated stigma.

"There's a concern that gay and bisexual men could be a 'vector' for a yet to be known or discovered pathogen that could be transferred through blood the same way that happened with HIV in the 80s," Cianciotto said. "The de facto lifetime ban is an action they're taking based on an unknown fear of something happening in the future versus what is already known."

In order to combat the stigma associated with gay or bisexual men donating blood, "All Types Welcome" will feature eight social media stars with large gay, bisexual and transgender fan bases – including Amanda Lepore, the transgender night life diva, and Shaun Ross an openly gay model.

The eight social media stars each pose in slightly eerie, off-kilter images as solemn nurses in line with the Saw series' twisted reality. The national blood drive will kick off in New York City on October 5th and expand to 25 cities in subsequent weeks. More details can be found at JigsawSaves.com.