Director claims Stonewall gay rights riots were a ‘white event’
Independence Day director Roland Emmerich has hit back at criticism of his drama based on the Stonewall riots.
Last year, Emmerich helmed a film portraying the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York – often considered the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement.
Based on early promotional material for the film, angry activists attacked it for allegedly “whitewashing and erasing trans people” by focusing on the white gay male lead (Jeremy Irvine).
Though the film did in fact have a prominent diverse cast and featured prominent transgender characters, it was a flop at the box office amid the boycott.
But Emmerich – who financed much of the project himself and is believed to have taken a heavy loss on the film – is still defending its legacy.
He told the Guardian: “My movie was exactly what they said it wasn’t.
“It was politically correct.
“It had black, transgender people in there.
“We just got killed by one voice on the internet who saw a trailer and said, this is whitewashing Stonewall.”
He added: “Stonewall was a white event, let’s be honest… but nobody wanted to hear that any more.”
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The director added that he is still open to doing LGBT-focused projects in future.
He said: “Right now I have a gay couple in [Independence Day: Resurgence]. It’s time for it. It would be very interesting to see if the studios go for it.
“You have to write a script they all want to have. I do this a lot. I write these movies myself, I finance them myself and then I send them to every studio at once.
“We call this an auction. We give them a budget and I will direct it.
“It’s pretty clear what these films are and, naturally, there are always two or three studios who need tentpole movies, so they bid for it and you get quite amazing freedom to make these movies exactly [how] you want.
“That’s what has to happen for a movie like that. And if one is successful then it’s not a taboo any more.”