The other day, we posted the trailer for the new film ‘Stonewall’, which covers the 1969 LGBT anti-discrimination riots in New York.
Unfortunately, after watching the trailer, many were left confused due to two major oversights:
1) Transgender women and men aren’t included and/or featured.
2) The trailer centred around the white, cisgender protagonist, and includes no People of Colour. Which is obviously incredibly exclusive, and also, really fucking historically inaccurate.
While there are People of Colour, and transgender men & women in the film, one of the main criticisms is that the main character is a white, cisgendered man who is completely fictional. So, rather than choose real people from 1969 as the protagonists, like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Ray Castro and Storme DeLarverie, a white cisgendered man was created from thin air instead.
Creators of Stonewall have now made statements about the disappointment that has been voiced worldwide, but they also manage to miss the point spectacularly:
To anyone with concerns about the diversity of the #StonewallMovie. I saw the movie for the first time last week and can…
When I first learned about the Stonewall Riots through my work with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, I was struck…
I hope the exchange below is a useful part of the discussion around the marketing, and making of Stonewall, which is…
The Mary Sue posted statements from two of the people responsible for petitions to boycott the film:
“Neither Roland Emmerich nor actor Jeremy Irvine seem to understand their role in Hollywood’s legacy of black and brown erasure — and now, trans erasure. It’s not widely disputed that activists like Sylvia Rivera, Martha P. Johnson, Miss Major and others were at the forefront and initiated the Stonewall Riots, it’s a historical fact. By inserting a fictitious cis-gender white man as a the protagonist, and combining Sylvia Rivera and Ray Castro into some sort of composite character, Roland Emmerich and Jeremy Irvine are telling us that queer people of color are tokenized background characters in the fight for our own rights and lives.
This isn’t just about race either, women from all over the LGBTQ spectrum seems to be missing entirely, from the trailer at least, which we also know to be historically inaccurate. Our stories, and our roles as leaders and figureheads of our own movements, matter. Because our work isn’t over. Our trans brothers and sisters still face deep institutionalised oppression and Roland Emmerich and Jeremy Irvine aren’t just not helping, they’re harming.” – Reuben Hayslett, one of the people behind the Move On petition to boycott Stonewall.
“Throughout the 2-minute trailer, I watched the passionate and diverse history of our movement be whitewashed and ciswashed. While I am sure white cis people were involved in the riots, there was no need to fictionalize a character to tell this story. The lives of Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Ray Castro and Storme DeLarverie are fascinating enough. The fact that Stonewall’s screenwriter referenced the expectations of marketing proves that this is a systematic issue.” – Pat Cordova-Goff, transwomyn of colour. She organised this petition to boycott Stonewall.
via The Mary Sue