Cassie Jaye

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Cassie Jaye
Jaye in 2018
Cassandra Nelson[1]

(1986-05-01) May 1, 1986 (age 38)
Occupation(s)Film director, producer
Years active2004–present
Notable workThe Red Pill
Evan Davies
(m. 2018)

Cassie Jaye (born May 1, 1986)[2] is an American film director, best known for directing the 2016 documentary film The Red Pill about the men's rights movement.[3][4]

Early life and work[edit]

Jaye was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to Nena Jaye.[5] When she was aged 6, her parents divorced.[6] When she was 14, Jaye moved to Las Vegas, where she attended Palo Verde High School.[7]

At age 18, she moved to Los Angeles, where she was an actress for five years before moving to Marin County, California in 2008.[2] Jaye disliked the stereotypical roles she was cast in, which she described as "cute girl-next-door who always died in horror films." Along with several incidents of sexual harassment, this led her to embrace feminism.[8]

Documentary career[edit]

After leaving the acting field, Jaye stayed in films, but as a documentary producer, director, and editor. She formed Jaye Bird Productions, a film production company, in 2008.[8][9] Her mother is her production partner.[10]

Daddy I Do (2010)[edit]

Jaye directed and produced the 2010 American documentary film Daddy I Do which examines sex education and sexual abstinence programs in America.[11] Daddy I Do included interviews with the founder of the Silver Ring Thing Denny Pattyn, feminist writer Amanda Marcotte, and Douglas Kirby. The film also discusses personal stories from women facing teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, abortion and sexual assault.[11][12] Bust magazine praised "Jaye for exposing the truth about abstinence-only programs, the stories of teenagers who buy into it, and its consequences".[13]

In December 2018, Jaye published Daddy I Do on her channel on YouTube.[14]

The Right to Love: An American Family (2012)[edit]

Jaye directed and produced her second feature documentary film The Right to Love: An American Family in 2012. The film chronicles a family known as "Gay Family Values" on YouTube in the aftermath of 2008 California Proposition 8.[15]

The film premiered in February 2012 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco with guest speaker Zach Wahls.[16][17] The film went on to screen at the Frameline Film Festival.[18]

In December 2018, Jaye published The Right to Love on her channel on YouTube.[19]

The Red Pill (2016)[edit]

Jaye directed and produced the 2016 American documentary film The Red Pill about the men's rights movement. Jaye spent a year interviewing men's rights figures, such as Paul Elam, founder of A Voice for Men; Harry Crouch, president of the National Coalition for Men; Warren Farrell, author of The Myth of Male Power;[20] and Erin Pizzey, who started the first domestic violence shelter for men in the modern world.[21] She also interviewed critics of the movement, such as Ms. magazine executive editor Katherine Spillar,[20][22] and sociologist Michael Kimmel.[23] Jaye initially relied on her own money to fund the film, as well as that from her mother and her boyfriend,[23] as she found difficulty finding backers from traditional sources after it became known that the film would take a "balanced approach"[24] view of the men's rights movement.[25][21] In what she called a "last resort", she started a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.[25] The Kickstarter project promised to be a "fair and balanced" look at the men's rights movement.[25] Her effort was strongly criticized by some feminists[26] including David Futrelle, who runs a website called We Hunted the Mammoth and who said it looked like propaganda.[27] She received support from Breitbart News columnist Milo Yiannopoulos.[28][29][30]

Futrelle also accused Jaye of soliciting funding from members of the men's rights movement, which she portrays sympathetically.[29][31] She has said that the suggestion the film was funded by MRAs (men's rights activists) is "a common lie that keeps spreading,"[23] and that the film's backers and producers would have no influence or control of the film.[23][25] It has also been criticized by Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice, among others, for failing to challenge controversial comments and behavior from men's rights figures such as Elam.[29][27] Jaye has defended the film as being "extremely balanced" and that people were "heard in context without manipulation".[32]

The film had screenings canceled in Australia following petitions, protests, and threats against those holding the screening.[33][34][35][36][37][38]

In a 2017 interview with Australian TV show The Project, when asked about a recent high-profile murder of Luke Anderson by his father, Jaye emphasized that it was a specific example of a male victim of domestic abuse. Jaye said that "we have to distinguish between victims and perpetrators, or criminals, because a boy who is being abused by a parental figure, that is a boy that deserves care and compassion and resources if he needs to find help."[39] Jaye described the interview as "hostile and aggressive", and initially pulled out of some interviews following the incident.[40][39] Later she resumed interviews but made her own recording of the discussions, as she stated she had been "misquoted so much".[41]

In an interview on the Australian TV show Weekend Sunrise, Jaye asked the show's hosts directly "Did you see the film?". The co-hosts said they had not.[41][42] After receiving a wave of comments critical of the hosts and supporting Jaye, Sunrise removed the video of the interview from their Facebook page. Jaye uploaded the interview to her own page, where it was removed shortly after as a copyright violation. When asked about the removal from Facebook a spokeswoman for the Seven network which produces Sunrise declined to comment. Jaye also posted screenshots of emails to prove that Sunrise's producer had received a copy of the film a month before the interview and plenty of time for the hosts to have watched it. This was to disprove the hosts' claim that they did not receive a copy of the film.[43]

At the end of the film, Jaye states that she no longer identifies as a feminist,[41] saying that she now believes that "feminism is not the road to gender equality". Although she no longer calls herself a feminist, she has stated that she is "still an advocate of women's rights and always will be" but is now "adding men to the discussion."[32]

Jaye gave a TEDx speech about her experience making The Red Pill. It focused particularly on how the process initially affirmed her feminist sense of otherism and outrage against the men's rights movement, but then later broke it down. It was an "uncomfortable and humbling experience", and one that turned her "from feminism to gender equality activism".[9]

In 2019 Jaye said that the video diaries she recorded during filming allowed her to remember what her views on feminism were before she started working on the film, and why she thought that way. Looking back on the diaries, she could see that her previous views weren't necessarily malicious, but just uninformed.[44]



Personal life[edit]

Cassie Jaye and Evan Davies married in June 2018.[10] Davies worked as director of photography on The Red Pill.[52]

In September 2018, Jaye discovered that she was pregnant, but then miscarried about a month later. She recorded the events of her pregnancy and miscarriage in footage code-named Robin, the name she gave to the miscarried baby. She has given consideration to produce a documentary project based on that footage, which would be named, Waiting to Miscarry.[10]


  1. ^ Hightower, Jeff. "Cassie Jaye: The New School of Hollywood".
  2. ^ a b Schwartz, Don (August 21, 2011). "Cassie Jaye: A Filmmaker Births Herself". CineSource. Archived from the original on September 24, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "Feminist filmmaker faces backlash over men's rights documentary". Women in the World. November 11, 2015. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  4. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (September 13, 2012). "Making a Case for Same-Sex Marriage". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Filmmaker's 'The Red Pill' a bitter one for feminists to swallow". Archived from the original on September 7, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  6. ^ "Larkspur mother, daughter make 'Daddy I Do,' a documentary about abstinence-only movement". October 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "Cassie Jaye: The New School of Hollywood".
  8. ^ a b c "What makes a feminist create a film on MRAs?". The Daily Dot. November 10, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Cassie Jaye". TEDxMarin. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "Waiting to miscarry". August 30, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Seltzer, Sarah (November 10, 2010). "Daddy I Do: "Purity" World is Tough for Women". Rewire.
  12. ^ Antunes, Marina (May 10, 2010). "Review:Daddy I Do". Row Three.
  13. ^ "Exposed: The Gift of Virginity and Purity Balls". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Daddy I Do (2010) - FULL DOCUMENTARY", Cassie Jaye's YouTube channel, 21 December 2018.
  15. ^ "A Strategy to Change Minds: Focus on the Gay Family". The Advocate. November 8, 2011.
  16. ^ "We live to love & we love us an olive". The Bay Area Reporter. February 2, 2012.
  17. ^ "Zach Wahls Has a Confession to Make to Gay Activists in San Francisco". GayCities. January 27, 2012.
  18. ^ "Histories of Acting Up: Frameline at 36". International Documentary Association. July 9, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "The Right To Love: An American Family (2012) - FULL MOVIE", Cassie Jaye's YouTube channel, 21 December 2018.
  20. ^ a b DeFore, John (November 2, 2016). "'The Red Pill' Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  21. ^ a b Arndt, Bettina (October 29, 2016). "Cassie Jaye's Red Pill too truthful for feminists to tolerate". The Australian. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  22. ^ Daubney, Martin (November 12, 2015). "The Red Pill: the movie about men that feminists didn't want you to see". Telegraph. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c d Liberatore, Paul (November 8, 2016). "Bay Area filmmaker's new film, 'The Red Pill,' is a bitter one for feminists to swallow". Mercury News.
  24. ^ Hunt, Elle (October 26, 2016). "The Red Pill: Melbourne cinema drops men's rights film after feminist backlash". The Guardian.
  25. ^ a b c d Scott, Catherine (November 10, 2015). "Meet the feminist who is making a film about the men's rights movement". The Daily Dot.
  26. ^ "Why Australian Men's Rights Activists Had Their Bullshit Documentary Banned". Vice. October 26, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  27. ^ a b Lee, Benjamin (November 11, 2015). "Feminist film-maker criticised for making 'balanced' men's rights documentary". The Guardian.
  28. ^ Daubney, Martin (November 12, 2015). "The Red Pill: the movie about men that feminists didn't want you to see". The Telegraph.
  29. ^ a b c Gillespie, Katherine (October 26, 2016). "Why Australian Men's Rights Activists Had Their Bullshit Documentary Banned". Vice.
  30. ^ Lee, Benjamin (November 11, 2015). "Feminist film-maker criticised for making 'balanced' men's rights documentary". The Guardian.
  31. ^ "Feminist filmmaker faces backlash over men's rights documentary". The New York Times. November 11, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  32. ^ a b Chaplain, Chloe (December 1, 2016). "Feminist filmmaker: women's rights are now silencing men". Evening Standard.
  33. ^ Mahoney, Neve (October 1, 2016). "Men's rights activists need to take a chill pill". Eureka Street. 26 (21).
  34. ^ "Queensland police asked to investigate threats of violence ahead of movie screening". Courier Mail. January 3, 2017.(subscription required)
  35. ^ Bolt, Andrew (June 8, 2017). "Red Pill Screening Stopped: You may not watch". Herald Sun.
  36. ^ Bolt, Andrew (June 9, 2017). "The Red Pill: US 'former feminist' Cassie Jaye stuns Project panel with men's rights spiel". The New Daily.
  37. ^ "The Red Pill: The film feminists don't want you to watch". ABC Radio Brisbane. June 8, 2017.
  38. ^ Jepsen, Belinda (June 8, 2017). "Director of "anti-feminist" documentary leaves The Project panel in stunned silence". Mamamia.
  39. ^ a b Coy, Bronte (June 10, 2017). "The Project hosts left speechless during interview with controversial US film director".
  40. ^ "Red Pill director Cassie Jaye pulls out of Hack Live special on male privilege". ABC. June 20, 2017.
  41. ^ a b c Callaghan, Greg (July 29, 2017). "Cassie Jaye's film on the men's rights movement shocked Australia. Why?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media.
  42. ^ "Men's rights film banned in Australia". Sunrise.
  43. ^ Chung, Frank (June 15, 2017). "Seven forces Facebook to remove Sunrise interview with The Red Pill director Cassie Jaye". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  44. ^ "Cassie Jaye - Gender Politics | Exploring Minds w/ Michele Carroll Ep. 15" (at 29m10s), Exploring Minds with Michele Carroll, 7 April 2019.
  45. ^ Harvey, Dennis (August 6, 2012). "The Right to Love: An American Family". Variety. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  46. ^ "Official Action on Film 2010 Award Winners and 1st Runner Upsin the categories ofFilm, Video, Documentary, Experimental and Animation" (PDF). From: AOF Action On Film Festival, Awards And Nominations. July 30, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2017.
  47. ^ "Cassie Jaye returns to film fest" (PDF). Idyllwild Town Crier. December 19, 2013. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2017. In 2010, Jaye's film, "Daddy I Do," premiered at the IIFC and was awarded Best Documentary.
  48. ^ "Action On Film 2012 Official Award Nominated Films" (PDF). AOF Action On Film - Results. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2017.
  49. ^ "Award Winners of LIFF 2017 – The Louisiana International Film Festival". Louisiana International Film Festival. August 30, 2017. Archived from the original on August 30, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  50. ^ "Awards – IIFC 2017". Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017.
  51. ^ Callaghan, Greg (July 28, 2017). "Cassie Jaye's film on the men's rights movement shocked Australia. Why?". Sydney Morning Herald. Jaye, who won a Women in Film award for The Red Pill at the Hollywood DigiFest festival
  52. ^ "How to Lead Under Stress: Filmmaker Cassie Jaye". November 30, 2017.

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