In Other Words Has No Kind Words for Portlandia

In Other Words, the Portland, Ore., feminist bookstore and community center that has been the setting for some sketches in IFC's Portlandia since the show's beginning, has severed its ties with TV show. In a post on its website entitled "F@!k Portlandia," the store said that the grounds for its decision included "a particular egregious filming of the show in our space which saw our store left a mess, our staff mistreated, our neighbors forced to close and lose business for a day without warning, and our repeated attempts to obtain accountability or resolution dismissed"; a response to a show "diametrically opposed to our politics and the vision of society we're organizing to realize"; and Portlandia's role in helping gentrification in Portland. The store also said that fees paid by Portlandia did not cover its costs while being closed for filming and that fans and tourists who visit the store because of Portlandia "come to our door to stand outside, take selfies, and then leave. The vast majority of them don't come inside." In Other Words noted that the current board, staff and volunteers were not involved in the decision six years ago to allow Portlandia to film in the store.

In the show, stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen sometimes play a pair of dour booksellers in Women and Women First Bookstore (with Armisen in drag). The store called those segments "trans-antagonistic and trans-misogynist and have only become more offensive as the show goes on. 'LOL Fred Armisen in a wig and a dress' is a deeply sh*tty joke whose sole punchline throws trans femmes under the bus by holding up their gender presentation for mockery and ridicule. In a world where trans femmes--particularly Black trans women--are being brutalized and murdered on a regular basis for simply daring to exist, dude in a dress jokes are lazy, reactionary, and actively harmful. They're also just straight up not funny."

The decision by the store to sever its connection to Portlandia was apparently taken earlier this year, according to Willamette Week, which on Tuesday was the first media outlet to write about the situation and to mention a sign in the store's window that reads: "F@!k Portlandia. Transmisogyny. Racism. Gentrification. Queer Antagonism. Devaluation of Feminist Discourse."

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