The Central African Republic has issued a series of stamps with classic images of Marilyn Monroe — but it turns out that one of them isn’t the icon at all, but legendary Monroe impersonator, Jimmy James.
I’ve seen the incredible Jimmy perform as Marilyn, and met him through friends. I follow him on Facebook, where I discovered this strange news. When I was just in L.A. in December I went to photographer Greg Gorman’s book-signing at Fahey-Klein gallery. (See next post) Greg has shot everyone in Hollywood for the last 30 years and in the 80s and 90s, he photographed the now iconic campaign for L.A. Eyeworks using downtown stars like Kate Pierson, Grace Jones, RuPaul, John Sex and yes, Jimmy James as Marilyn Monroe.
When you compare the two, the image on the stamp of Marilyn is obviously Jimmy in a pair of Eyeworks glasses and the 1991 ad was used as the reference. James’ attorney Mark Jay Heller told the NY Post,
“Although the recognition and inclusion of a transgender model in this collection of [Monroe] stamps is appreciated… the publisher… has not only failed and omitted to secure” James’ consent, “but has also failed to compensate him.
Hopefully, this discriminatory conduct will be atoned for and redressed by immediately compensating Jimmy James in response to our legal demand seeking reasonable remuneration.”
Yes, in other words, pay up, bitches! Hey, an icon once removed is still an icon –even in drag.
(via NY Post)