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Entertainment Weekly put the ‘first brick thrown at Stonewall’ on its Pride cover and people have thoughts – lots of thoughts

Josh Milton May 14, 2020
Entertainment Weekly's upcoming Pride month edition has attracted criticism online for its bizarre inclusion of the Stonewall brick. We suspect the gay intern her. (Entertainment Weekly/Twitter)

Entertainment Weekly's upcoming Pride month edition has attracted criticism online for its bizarre inclusion of the Stonewall brick. We suspect the gay intern her. (Entertainment Weekly/Twitter)

Entertainment Weekly (EW) suffered stinging criticism from the LGBT+ community Wednesday evening (May 13) for its upcoming June Pride month cover, which bizarely featured what has been dubbed the “Stonewall brick”.

In today’s distraction from existential dread, the American magazine revealed its cover on Twitter – an illustration of a party featuring 18 past and present LGBT+ figures.

And it’s kinda cursed.

So, there’s a lot to process here.

First of all, who’s on the Entertainment Weekly Pride cover and why?

“These LGBT+ storytellers and icons are creating unforgettable work in TV, movies, music, life, and so much more!” the publication wrote on Twitter.

The illustration by Jack Hughes featured a constellation of LGBT+ stars partying in a plush Hollywood Hills residence.

It’s a little larger than the magazine-shaped cut posted on Twitter first suggests.

Janelle Monáe, Freddie Mercury, Kate McKinnon, Ricky Martin, John Waters, Dan Levy, Ellen DeGeneres, Rock Hudson, Laverne Cox, Lily Tomlin, Kristen Stewart, Lil Nas X, George Takei, Ryan Murphy, Cynthia Nixon, Marlene Dietrich, RuPaul and Elton John all featured on the full landscape illustration.

And some of the stars featured took to Twitter to praise the cover.

“The cover — and indeed our entire Pride cover package — was created in collaboration with LGBT+ illustrators in an effort to make the Pride experience richer for folks stuck in their homes,” wrote EW editor JD in a post profiling the issue.

Is that… the brick from Stonewall between Lil Nas X and George Takei?

As Heyman noted, the cover features an array of easter eggs.

From Dorothy’s red slipper to the first EW cover featuring K.D Lang, Murphy wearing Liberace’s cape to…

Wait.

Within minutes of the cover dropping, people noticed something.

Yes.

The “first brick thrown at Stonewall” was on the cover. Not Marsha P Johnson. Not anyone actually involved in the Stonewall Riots, the cornerstone of the LGBT+ rights movement.

But a brick. An inanimate object. An object that, historians to this day argue about who actually threw it and if it actually existed in the first place.

Maybe the first brick at Stonewall threw the first brick at Stonewall?

There’s also a chandelier in the background which kinda looks like the coronavirus, to be honest.

Some users outraged that Ellen Degeneres appeared on the cover, but Billy Porter did not. 

Moving on, another thing folks flagged up was the absence of many notable queer people from the cover in favour of those who have been roiled by controversy.

Moreover, some users criticised the cover for seemingly raising the profiles of the same LGBT+ people again and again, rather than diverse or emerging queer talent.

Such as alleged fracker RuPaul and Ellen Degeneres, who was lampooned for being friends with George W Bush and for allegedly treating her staff poorly.

Where are diverse LGBT+ heroes such as Frank Ocean, Billy Porter and the lesbian cyclops from Onward?

Hughes, amid bubbling backlash, clarified on Twitter that he: “Didn’t choose the list.

“I only drew who I was told to draw. I’m sorry.”

He stressed that the creative process was snarled by deadlines and constraints, meaning that many LGBT+ stars did not make the final cut.

Anyway, while who knows whether Halloween will be a reality for us all this year, it’s safe to say the LGBT+ community will all be dressing up as the EW cover Stonewall brick for years to come.

More: Cynthia Nixon, Dan Levy, Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, entertainment weekly, Freddie Mercury, george takei, janelle monae, John Waters, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Stewart, laverne cox, lil nas x, lily tomlin, Marlene Dietrich, Pride, Ricky Martin, rock hudson, rupaul, Ryan Murphy, Stonewall

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