Roland Emmerich Doubles Down, Says Stonewall Was “A White Event, Let’s Be Honest”

Roland Emmerich-Pic

Roland Emmerich appears to have taken all the criticism about his misguided flop Stonewall in stride — either that, or he simply loves a good tongue-lashing. (And that’s definitely a thing.)

Related: Does It Make Sense To Get Upset Over A Movie Like “Stonewall” That Hasn’t Even Been Released Yet?

How else to explain why, in a new interview with The Guardian to promote Independence Day: Resurgence, Emmerich says, “Stonewall was a white event, let’s be honest.”

Related: Stonewall Star Jeremy Irvine Comes Out Swinging Against The Proposed Boycott Of His Film

Openly taking on accusations that he was “whitewashing” the entire gay rights movement (a petition with over 25,000 signatures claimed, “It is time that black and brown transwomyn and drag queens are recognized for their efforts in the riots”), Emmerich says:

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. Stonewall was a white event, let’s be honest. But nobody wanted to hear that any more.”

The statement hasn’t gone unnoticed, either: 

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  • Kieran

    There should be a rule about all future GLBT films. One-quarter of the actors should be white. One-quarter should be black. One-quarter Asian-Middle Eastern-Pacific islander. One-quarter Hispanic, Eskimo and/or Aleutian islander. Somebody send the memo to Mr. Emmerich. This is the only way to be fair to everybody in our color blind society.

  • ingyaom

    Was it or wasn’t it? I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.

  • gaym50ish

    I saw the film and I think it should be criticized for being a bad movie, not for being too white. There were black people in the film, so I never understood that criticism.

    An event like Stonewall deserves to be the subject of a great film like “Milk.” Why can’t anyone get that done?

  • redcarpet30

    @ingyaom: I don’t fuckin’ know. Everyone wants to claim it for themselves and love to argue about disputed xyz facts. As far as I know, it could have been nothing but brown trans people, it could have been whiter than a klan rally.

  • Tackle

    Ok Roland: so we knew that was your mentality and attitude from the beginning regarding the race and participants of the event. Thanks for confirming that our protest and boycott of your film was with merit. And lets be honest, word is your filmed sucked. And all of us non-Whites made damn sure that it would be DOA. Kiss!

  • Brian

    Black men don’t do homosexual activism very well. They make good drag queens but that is not the same as homosexual activism. Drag is harmlwss, non-revolutionary stuff.

    So, yes, Roland is correct.

  • Xzamilio

    @Brian: I love you man. Just an unabashed unapologetic troll who lives his truth. Don’t ever change… your kind of stupid needs to be bronzed.

  • musclemutt

    @redcarpet30: How dare you! How very dare you introduce eye-witness reports from reliable sources into an internet competition among contradictory facts, opinions, prejudices, and agendas.

    Just to put myself on even footing let me add my 2-bits.
    The raid, the riots, and the protest were related events extending separately over time.
    Isn’t it just possible that latino, black, and white transvestites, lesbians, and gays united to stop mercenary law harassment and discrimination?

  • tham

    They’re using the term “womyn” again!!!! The 1990’s live again!

    My favorite is Femyle…but when they took the term “Man Hole” and replaced it with “Utility hole”…they took one of my favorite bar names.

  • IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou

    He’s right. It was a mostly white event. It’s obvious the mafia wasn’t running a bark for the homeless mentally ill crossdressers that tried to steal Stonewall from the mostly white gay men that participated. Why would the mafia or anyone run a business for people with no money?

  • IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou

    @ingyaom: If you do research you will see it was mostly white gay males. Think about it. Why would the Italian mafia run bar for a bunch of broke drug addicts with mental issues like Rivera and Johnson?

  • Brian

    Have you ever heard of a black revolutionary? I haven’t.

    Black people don’t do revolutions. Even the emancipation of black slaves was run by white men.

    Look at black people on the scene today. Probably the most “famous” one is RuPaul. He puts on make-up for a living. How sad is this?

  • Kangol

    She’s just being truculent out of rage that her dreadful film bombed. Bye, Felicia!

  • Ogre Magi

    In that famous pic of the riots weren’t there several people of color?

  • Aromaeus

    Let’s be honest the only thing white people riot over is sporting events and men being fired for not reporting that there was allegations of molestation and rape against colleagues. That’s the tea.

  • Kangol

    @Brian: Your [email protected] idiocy knows no bounds. Open a f*cking history book or ten and then go back beneath your rock.

    As for black revolutionaries, THE FIRST PERSON WHO DIED IN THE US REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CRISPUS ATTUCKS, WAS BLACK! John Adams, then a lawyer defending the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre, noted that among the leaders were BLACK people. Okay, my history lesson in response to your vile idiocy today.

    Now go back to your Trump-lined cave in hell, [email protected], homophobic troll!

  • zooby

    @Kangol: I feel semi-bad for Brian. It is clear he has no job / education, seeing as he posts here ALL day. He most likely still lives in his mom’s basement and has no real purpose in life.

  • Guy068

    The power of Stonewall might lie more in its mythic sense than the real. The only core truth that matters is that queer folk got tired of being pushed around and abused and stood up against it spectacularly. Wherever we fall on the LGBT spectrum, I’ve noticed our head canon tends to populate the bar with people like ourselves. It’s been something that has empowered and inspired us for decades. Yes, the truth is important but no bad film can change it or the core message of what Stonewall stands for!

  • Dave Downunder


    “@Brian: I love you man. Just an unabashed unapologetic troll who lives his truth. Don’t ever change… your kind of stupid needs to be bronzed.”

    Thanks for the LOLZ that was priceless.

  • spankt

    Let’s be honest the Germans have a long history of white people being the answer

  • Black Pegasus

    @Brian: I know your comment was meant to be trollish and provocative, but unfortunately it’s true. Black Gay men come from a different world than most white gays. We experience more racial micro-aggressions from whites and more homophobia from Blacks within our own families and communities.. Hell, we even hate each other sometimes… But none of that gives you the right to be an azzhole regarding the struggles of Gay Black men. If you don’t know what it’s like then keep your trap closed!

  • OzJosh

    He’s right. HIs film was more diverse than his detractors alleged. He’s also right in that Stonewall was predominantly a white event. A lot of gay bars around that time had a predominantly white clientele – for all sorts of social demographic reasons.

    Neither observation changes the fact that his film was a boring as batpoop.

  • Imperialist

    Yes, it was mostly a White Event. I was 10 years old, living on Bleecker, when my mother took me over so we could see what was going on. First: it was NOT a riot. It was a Big Fight. Riots are what happened in Newark, Watts, Detroit, Being NYC, of course there were all sorts of people there. But it was mostly white. There were more lesbians there than trans people. My mother shrugged her shoulders and we went home. It was NOT some huge thing. And, when the police records were checked when all the blahblahblah was going about the movie, all they could find were mug shots of white boys. SJW suck. OMG, it just dawned on me: I was at Stonewall, with my mother, lol.

  • Chris2016

    1) It wasn’t a riot, it was just a very big fight

    2) The crowd was very racially mixed

    3) The significance of Stonewall has been overstated incredibly. Mainly from our desire to have our own ‘Selma’. The actual relevancy to the Gay rights movement is moderate at best

  • musclemutt

    @Brian: I guess I won’t point out to you the astonishingly accomplished French revolutionary Joseph Bologna since he was mulatto.

    But have you never heard of Malcom X, Black Muslims, Huey Newton, Black Panthers, or Angela Davis? Oh, and that preacher they named all those boulevards after.

  • musclemutt

    The biggest thing about Stonewall was that it happened to the most important gays in the most important city in the most important world. It’s like if a tree falls somewhere beyond Manhattan, how could that possibly be. The fact is, NYC is often late to the gay rights party.

    Here’s a couple of favorites from Wikipedia, including the first pride parade and a big fight more ferocious than Stonewall.

    Los Angeles 1959•Gay men clashed with police at Cooper’s Donuts, a hang-out for drag queens and street hustlers who were frequently harassed by LAPD. Police arrested three people, including Gay author John Rechy, but other patrons began pelting cops with donuts and coffee cups—don’t you love that—until LAPD called for back-up and arrested a number of rioters, but Rechy and the other 2 escaped.

    San Francisco 1964•To protest police action a coalition of churches and homosexuals held a costume party to raise money. When the SFPD failed to force venue owners to cancel, some of the ministers and ticket takers were arrested, creating a brief riot. Don’t mess with the drag queens’ balls, which by the way, date back to the 1800s.

    Philadelphia 1965•About 150 people staged a sit-in after the manager of Dewey’s restaurant refused service to several people he thought looked gay. Four people were arrested. After a week of passing out flyers in front, leaders convinced owners to bring an end to the denial of service. But they could do nothing about the menu.

    New York City 1966•To challenge the state’s prohibition against serving alcohol to known homosexuals activists invited reporters to follow them as they sought a refusal of service. After being served in several bars despite announcing their homosexuality, the group was finally refused service at Julius. As a result, the city’s human rights commission declared that such discrimination could not continue, no doubt diluting a target for mob protection rackets. [Julius is the gay bar mentioned in the interview as not allowing drag queens.]

    LA, NYC, Philly, SF, DC 1966•LA lesbians and gays staged a 15-car motorcade as the nation’s first gay pride parade, joining homophile organizations across the country in simultaneous demonstrations for Armed Forces Day that included picketing in each city.

    San Francisco 1966•After peacefully picketing Compton’s Cafeteria the month before against the hiring of Pinkerton to harass gays and drag queens, they rioted in the face of continued harassment, heavily damaging the restaurant and surrounding neighborhood. The following night demonstrators threw up another picket line, which quickly descended into new violence and further damage to the restaurant. Now that’s a riot.

    Los Angeles 1967 When LAPD raided the New Year’s Eve parties at Black Cat Tavern and New Faces, injuring several patrons and fracturing a bartender’s skull, several hundred people spontaneously demonstrated on Sunset Boulevard.

    Los Angeles 1967 Organized by the owner of gay bar Pandora’s Box and building on the Black Cat protests of weeks earlier, about 200 LGBT people joined 40 picketers at the Black Cat in coordination with hippies and other counterculture groups who had received harassment and violence from police.

    Los Angeles 1968—Following the arrest of two patrons, the owner of The Patch organized other patrons to move on the police station. After buying out a nearby flower shop, the demonstrators caravanned to the station, festooned it with the flowers, and bailed out the arrested men.

    In the 10 or so left out, read for yourself the fabulous exploits of The Princess and The Duchess and securing LGBT rights to work at Tower Records, Safeway stores, Macy’s and the Federal Building. Sometimes we forget how different our society could be if we got really mad enough to make a difference.

  • Tackle

    @Imperialist: One of the things that you, David Carter and the supporters of the ” mostly white event” theory are overlooking several important facts, related to time frames. The initial raid: the riots/fights: and protest… As we know,the Stonewall event lasted several days. At the initial raid, June 28, 1969, it was a private party for Marsha P Johnson, and the majority at her party were Black,Hispanic, lesbians and drag and trans people. The White gay men depicted in that pic, that some love to show as proof that White gay men were at the forefront of stonewall was obviously outside the bar, hrs later, and other pics days later. The brave people who stood up, and initially fought inside the bar, and resisting arrest were majority people of color. And some of whom were screaming to the White gay men across the street to do something. In the subsequent days when the crowds swelled to hundreds and hundreds, of course the majority would have been White. The majority of the US population is White, so the majority of LGBTQ people in NY would have been White, since the crowd started to swell with others who did not go to Stonewall. Many just really cannot stand the fact that the rights, freedom and privileges they are enjoying today are the result of others who are frequently marginalized within the LGBTQ community…

  • Masc Pride

    @Chris2016: Totally agree. It’s funny, I don’t recall everyone saying Stonewall this or Stonewall that until around ’06 or so. From that point on, Stonewall was all the faux activists (the ones who claim to be about activism and pride but are really only about trying to prove that they’re better gays than most others) could talk about. There are so many inconsistencies between different accounts of the same “event”. It obviously wasn’t well documented, and a lot of the different stories seem more like gossip than history.

  • Imperialist

    @Tackle: You are wrong.

  • Imperialist

    @musclemutt: Thank you for that. If Stonewall had been in Oshkosh or West Cupcake no one would have heard about it, then or now. When I was in college, the Stonewall was a place called “The Bagel And…”

  • Imperialist

    Has ANYBODY tried talking to the 8 cops that were locked into the Stonewall? Are they still alive? When I was a kid, the police station was “Fort Bruce.” And the police station was not on 10th Street, the original Fort Bruce is a condo building. The cops used to call the Boots and Saddles bar the “Bra and Girdles.” The Monster was a legit bookstore. Does anyone recall when 2 guys were killed, many injured when someone shot into the crowd outside the Ramrod, 1978 I think. When the Westside Highway elevation was still up and you could park underneath it, no rules. Oh, well.

  • joeyty

    @Imperialist: It’s interesting to hear from someone who was actually a kid in that area. My family was all from there too (all born at St. Vincent’s) but by the time of the Stonewall thing they’d all moved to Queens or Long Island. And yes, I was a kid but I know about the shooting at at the Ramrod from the newspapers and can remember the Westside Highway (NYC was so much cooler then).

  • joeyty

    @spankt: “Let’s be honest the Germans have a long history of white people being the answer” That’s why they have the most Nobel Prizes in the Science and Medicine categories (along with the UK and U.S.)

  • Tackle

    @Imperialist: Oh I’m wrong because I’m not going along with the white man, front, center and hero narrative? Funny thing how all the people of color, some of whom are still alive, accounts differ from what your god David Carter wrote in his book. No, I’m RIGHT…

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