We all know that the first Stonewall trailer didn’t go down well, as it was met with a lot of criticism from the LGBT community, and some accused the film of “whitewashing”.
The director of the film, Roland Emmerich, has now responded to the criticisms the trailer has received from both in and outside of the LGBT space.
He discussed this with the BBC, saying how he “never quite understood the fuss” surrounding the criticisms and accusations, and went on to say that “it’s a good thing the film is out there now.”
“It was a trailer, and people always complain that trailers show everything. We didn’t want to make that mistake. But it clearly was a big mistake for some people out there. The film is racially and sexually far more diverse than some people appear to think.”
The backlash to the trailer was large enough that a petition was started to boycott the film due to it’s apparent lack of diversity, and gained almost 25,000 signatures.
The lead actor, Jeremy Irvine, backed up Roland’s comments saying: “It’s just a trailer.”
“It’s perhaps misleading because there’s a second in there where my character throws a stone and it might look like he starts the Stonewall riots, but nothing could be further than the truth. Many of the real-life activists of the time are characters in the film. It’s been taken out of context.”
Emmerich then went on to discuss how he believes the Stonewall riots’ significance as part of the civil rights movement are often overlooked.
“Over the years I realised how little people knew about the riots, and this is actually the event that started everything – and it was a group of homeless kids at the centre of it. I work with the gay and lesbian centre in Los Angeles and I realised this little known fact – that around 40% of homeless youths in the United States are LGBT. The problem on the streets hasn’t changed since 1969. We may have gay marriage now, but most of these homeless kids come from the small towns where growing up gay is still terribly difficult, and I wanted this story at the heart of the film.”
“Above all, I wanted to make a movie that felt personal – the ones I normally do, not that I hate to do them, but they are not very personal. They have to appeal to nearly everyone and this is a different approach. It was the first time on a film set that I was able to tell a straight actor like Jeremy how he should feel as a gay man. I put a lot of emotion into making this movie.”
You can read the full interview with the BBC here.