Stonewall Hits Whitewashing Controversy

The recent trailer launch for Roland Emmerich’s gay rights drama “Stonewall” has been met with a backlash over its apparent retconning of the real history of the gay rights movement.

The Stonewall riots are often considered to be the most important moment in gay rights history – a time in 1969 New York when the brutality and prejudice gay and transgender people suffered hit breaking point and led to the famous incident.

The film chronicles a Abercrombie catalogue handsome young white male named Danny (Jeremy Irvine) who becomes a part of the events and the riot – to the point of seemingly setting them off by throwing a brick. The trouble is Danny is completely fictional.

Since the trailer’s release, LGBT activist groups have denounced the film for its inaccurate portrayal, it’s lack of acknowledgement of colored queer and gender non-comforming activists, and its lack of portraying the real contributions of people like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro.

One petition has already received almost 13,000 signatures to boycott the film saying “do not throw money at the capitalistic industry that fails to recognize true heroes. Do not support a film that erases our history. Do not watch Stonewall.”

The reaction has been enough that Roland Emmerich has taken to social media to defend the film:

When I first learned about the Stonewall Riots through my work with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Centre, I was struck…

Posted by Roland Emmerich on Thursday, 6 August 2015

He isn’t the only one though as the film’s screenwriter Jon Baitz has also defended the film and has been frustrated by the pre-judgements based on just a trailer:

I hope the exchange below is a useful part of the discussion around the marketing, and making of Stonewall, which is…

Posted by Jon Robin Baitz on Thursday, 6 August 2015

The debate is expected to continue until and likely for some time after the film’s release on September 25th. Below is the trailer that’s causing all the controversy.