Movie’s Ads Protest Rules Restricting Gay Men From Donating Blood

But times change, and Mr. Palen is now taking a more antagonistic approach. “All Types Welcome” is a condemnation of blood donation rules set by the Food and Drug Administration that prohibit most gay or bisexual men from giving; before donating, they have to forgo same-sex sexual encounters for at least a year, a contentious precaution resulting from concerns about H.I.V.

“It’s exclusion, and it’s ridiculous, and it’s discriminatory,” Ms. Lepore said in an interview.

Mark Burg, the producer who has helped steer the “Saw” franchise, was even more blunt. “We want this policy changed,” he said.

An F.D.A. spokeswoman, Lyndsay Meyer, noted that the celibacy rule, enacted in 2015, replaced a more restrictive policy. “While acknowledging at the time that the change to a 12-month deferral was less than hoped for by some, the F.D.A. considered this to be a first step,” Ms. Meyer said, adding that studies are underway to “help inform further changes to policy.”

The Red Cross, the nation’s largest blood supplier, has also drawn fire for its approach to transgender donors. Until recently, federal guidelines recommended that trans people be required to register at blood centers under the gender they were assigned at birth.


The blood drive, also featuring model Mykie, will expand from New York to 25 cities.

Tim Palen

“The Red Cross believes all potential blood donors should be treated with fairness, equality and respect,” Jodi D. Sheedy, a Red Cross spokeswoman, said in an email.

She added, “Accurate donor histories and medically supported donor deferral criteria are critical” to blood supply safety.

Mr. Palen is one of Hollywood’s savviest marketers, and his latest campaign reflects several trends, including a focus on diversity. In the past, Mr. Palen has cast young women (most often white) as nurse mascots for the “Saw” blood drives. “Now we have different races, genders, ages and sexual orientations,” he said. Joining Ms. Lepore and Mr. Ross as twisted nurses are people like Nyakim Gatwech, a Sudanese model; a YouTube and Instagram star named Mykie; and the sexagenarian event producer Susanne Bartsch.

While inclusion remains far from Hollywood’s strength, many consumer brands have started to loudly ring the representation bell. Last year, for instance, CoverGirl…

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