Activists plan boycott of Stonewall film for ‘focussing on white gay men’

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Thousands of LGBT people plan to boycott the release of a film based on the Stonewall riots – because the main character is a white gay man.

The first trailer was released this week for Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall, which is based on the build-up to the 1969 Stonewall riots at New York’s Mafia-run gay bar the Stonewall Inn.

The drama will focus on the story of homeless Danny Winters – a fictional character caught up in the riots – who experiences a political awakening after making his way to New York, where “with the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born”.

However, thousands of people have signed a petition slamming the film – which stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Jonny Beauchamp – for failing to focus on the role of drag queens, trans women and people of colour in the riots.

The ‘boycott Stonewall’ group claim that veterans of the riots like Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera have been airbrushed out in favour of a fictional gay man.

A petition says: “It is time that black and brown transwomyn [sic] and drag queens are recognized for their efforts in the riots throughout the nation. From the preview alone, we know that will not be happening.

“Majority of characters casted are white actors, cis men play the role of transwomyn, and folks who began the riots do not seem to be credited with such revolutionary acts.

“WE ARE CALLING A BOYCOTT OF STONEWALL. Do not throw money at the capitalistic industry that fails to recognize true s/heros. Do not support a film that erases our history. Do not watch Stonewall.”

It adds: “History classes throughout our nation have built a reputation of instructing young generations that white, straight, cis folks are the saviors and founders of this land. Wrong.

“We were taught that light-skinned people are the goal; the goal to assimilate to. Wrong.

“We were also rarely taught about queer history, but when we were, it probably revolved around white cis gay men. Wrong.”

“This film is no different that the history classes that are serving a disservice to every potential viewer.”

None of the complainants have actually seen the final film – and appear to be basing their conceptions off of the one trailer.