Promos For New “Saw” Sequel Highlight Gay Blood Donation Ban

Amanda Lepore appears in the "Jigsaw" posters to help promote the film's blood drive.

The Saw franchise is returning this fall with its eighth installment, Jigsaw, and Lionsgate is using the film’s promotion as an opportunity to draw attention to the discriminatory policy that prevents gay men from donating blood in the U.S.

Tim Palen, the studio’s chief brand officer, created the “All Types Welcome” campaign to encourage people to donate blood in exchange for a free ticket to the film, and cast eight social media stars with large LGBT fanbases, including gay model Shaun Ross and trans icon Amanda Lepore, to dress as nurses and help spread the word.

Lionsgate has actually been using fake nurses to encourage blood donations since the first Saw film premiered in 2004, but Palen decided to use the franchise’s reincarnation to speak out against the FDA’s policy that prohibits gay and bisexual men from giving blood unless they have abstained from sex for an entire year.

The ban is based on a fear of spreading HIV, something Lepore described to The New York Times as “exclusion, and it’s ridiculous, and it’s discriminatory.”

Lessons must be taught. #JigsawSavedMe

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More information on the blood drive, which kicks off in New York on October 5 before expanding to 25 other cities, can be found here. Jigsaw hits theaters on October 27.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.