empowered by rage, and it traces a point in an arc towards justice that began with the Mattachine Society, continued through the bravery of a group of psychiatrists who refused to accept the pathologizing of homosexuality, and continues today with the fight for marriage equality and is now starting to focus on trans rights. It’s a point on an arc, a moment, a story — the prejudgements are understandable to me, and there’s not much I can do except be honest about my role in making the movie, and our intentions. I don’t think the film needs defending, really, but I am reminded of Jesse Jackson’s words, when reflecting on some of his mistakes: To quote: — “My head – so limited in its finitude; my heart, which is boundless in its love for the human family. I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet…” I stand before people who are angered by a film they have yet to see, and ask that their open hearts allow that the film be judged on its own merits, and not by the demands of a marketing department, because marketing is based entirely in fear, whereas art is based in rage and hope and fire. American film (sigh) somewhere in between – nervously shifting its weight between commerce and something greater, and stumbling all the time.”
Stonewall Writer Jon Robin Baitz Tries To Calm Down Angry LGBT Folks Who Haven’t Yet Seen The Film
I hope the exchange below is a useful part of the discussion around the marketing, and making of Stonewall, which is being decried by many who have not or will not see it based on a trailer (sigh), which I saw only when others did, online. I have tremendous respect for Roland Emmerich, for producing and directing and paying for a movie which no studio would give a cent to. Including the studios he has made a great deal of money for. I admire his reach and ambition, and his intentions, which are utterly uncynical, totally honorable. His film making skills are realized here to a degree we have not seen before, and his sole goal was to honor the heroes of that time. AND I also have tremendous empathy for those who think they are being erased, removed and made once more invisible. I really do not think that’s what this movie is, and as I say below, I could be blind, because when you make a film, the chaos, the uncertainty, the conditions ‘on the ground’ can lead to a kind of ‘snow blindness’ to use an ironic phrase. But such an erasure would be heart breaking to me, as a man of principle, who tries to grow wiser and broader in my vision of what the world should be. The movie is about an awakening, one young man’s awakening to the reality of what it means to be ‘the other’. It is not the definitive story of a revolution; that film has yet to be made – but its a humanist’s dramatization of how the disenfranchised are
— Jon Robin Baitz, author of the Stonewall screenplay, in a note posted to his Facebook page in response to the growing number of LGBT people calling for a boycott of the upcoming film based on seeing the trailer and their perception that trans and people of color are largely absent from the historical drama (read director Roland Emmerich’s statement here)
thats a cute little huffy jaunt -but- this isnt a character on an episode of melrose place…this is 2015
I’m going to see it
Police harassment was very real back then. You were expecting it. There was an air of intimidation.
The only thing I don’t really like about this is the idea that Stonewall was the starting point for gay liberation. Maybe in New York it was but Illinois already had decriminalized male homosexuality back in 1961. New York was playing catch-up.
I’ll reserve my judgement till after I see it . but as with anything Hollywood I’m not holding my breath
Let’s all have a meltdown over a movie trailer… from behind our devices.
Fuck who ever doesn’t like it. Every single picture of that night shows a clear white male non-drag majority.
Mykel C. Johnson
The fact that the trailer shows maybe one possibly Hispanic guy with, still, an emphasis on a white kid as the main character, I don’t see why they bothered.
Love the ‘see the film before you judge it’ comment… Just an answer to get people to see the film and get their box office receipts up. If they had made the film respectfully and accurately, the trailer would have had has queuing up to see it already. I cant see how the problems raised in this discussion can be corrected in the film as the trailer clearly pints to something different
Richard Joseph Allen
I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s all a marketing ploy to get the straight girls to come and see the film, as producers don’t won’t to limit it’s appeal to just the LGBTQ community. What’s the betting that in a few weeks they’ll release another trailer which will be have more diversity in it.
Snow Blindness sounds about right.
I swear to god if I hear one more self-reightous asshole crow about this movie being whitewashed I’m going to scream! There are trans and latino people IN THE DAMN TRAILER! It doesn’t say a white kid threw the first brick, just A brick. (And BTW, Marsha P. Johson didn’t throw a brick, most accounts say it was a shotglass that started it, but even that is up for debate)
YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT! THE FUCKING MOVIE ISN’T OUT YET. The trailers are made by marketing departments! Wait for a goddamn review at least before you rage, that way you can base your opinion in reality and not give money to the evil studios.
@redcarpet30: I couldn’t agree more! I don’t know what trailer people have been watching, but I have seen diversity each time I’ve watched this one!
@redcarpet30: Wow! You need to calm down.
So people who weren’t alive when Stonewall happened and haven’t seen the film are protesting that it’s inaccurate. I’m not defending the film. I don’t know how accurate it is. But it just seems like typical Americans expressing opinions about things without knowing the facts.
I agree with artistic freedom but we can’t accept fictionalized history at least not yet. I understand both sides of the argument. True the trailer is supposed excite potential audiences about the movie. If the editor of the trailer thought this would be the way to present the movie that was their choice. This movie doesn’t seem to have the marketing push as larger studio projects. If it was there would have been a teaser trailer, teasers posters followed by the first trailer and then possibly another trailer. That doesn’t include international marketing either if this movie will have that kind of release. International trailers tend to differ to cater to those markets. But there in lies the problem. If the budget for marketing is miniscule then this might be their only trailer. And that is where I see the frustration from those dissatisfied with what’s been put out there. A movie such as Stonewall is bound to create very passionate discussions. I am in the limbo catagory. Part of me hopes that there is enough of the true story mixed in with fiction to make it a good movie. The other part questions why we need a fictional character to tell a very important part of the gay rights movement. Many have said that this is not a documentary so it is not required to follow the story truthfully. While that is the case so few movies have been made about the Gay rights movement. Stonewall is not old history, it’s only been 46 years ago. That’s still relevant. This has been a historic year for LGBT Rights. Our history deserves an honest presentation. May be 50 years down the road this would be acceptable. Right now we need to educate people about our struggles but not with fiction.
The boycott of the movie might seem too drastic. But this is not the only movie that has created such controversy before it’s release. Recently, there have been boycotts for 50 Shades of Grey, Mad Max: Fury Road, Selma, and Exodus. The closest comparison to Stonewall would be Exodus which created a furor over the predominantly white cast. Many of the leads where portraying Egyptian characters but where played by Christian Bale and Joel Egerton. As far out to some it may seem I feel that those boycotting the movie do have valid reasons. Both sides have valid reasons. I don’t think calling each other names really helps the situation. Neither does internal fighting within the LGBT commmunity. This divide could create positive conversations about our struggles and understand each subgroup with the LGBT community.
If the movie fails or succeeds it’s ultimately not on us. Many movies have suffered from poor trailers. Yes, two minutes and a half can make or break a movie. Case in point this week Fantastic 4.
I’m not going to go see it because it does not look like a good movie based on this trailer. Isn’t that the point of releasing a trailer, to get you to see the movie? There was already a bad movie called Stonewall several years ago and this does not look any better.
I have yet to see a trailer in the theatre or on tv.
The crowd in the trailer matches the actual photos of the riots perfectly.
It’s a movie, get over it !
Amazing everyone judging it before it is even out !
For people who claim being judged all the time this is inappropriate behavior.
Watch the entire movie, then point out what you feel is wrong or how it could have been better .
That would be the right and fair thing to do !
People disputing the depiction of an event they didn’t witness in a film they haven’t seen. Why does sound so familiar?
@Rick Arsenault: but its not a “Hollywood” movie. Its basically an independent movie that the director financed himself. As stated in this quote, no “Hollywood” studio would touch it.
@jason smeds: good point, Jason. What hasnt been mentioned is that The Stonewall and most other “gay” bars back than were owned by the mob. Police raids were common.
Down to the bottom, the whole world is revolving around money. The mainstream audience is still the white audience. It is really sad!
@Nat Jones: you dont get it. This movie is not a “re-creation” of that event. Its a story about a fictional character. It sounds like you support telling a creative person how to create their work. Wow…that’s PC Nazi gone berzerk. Go see the movie or not but you have no credibility judging something you havent seen.
@redcarpet30: right on!!!! All this PC madness is foolish.
@odawg: actually, I applaud this person for speaking up! I feel the same way. I see all this whining from people who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about and its ridiculous.
So many silly queens defending a silly movie based on a white persecpective that simply did not happen. How shallow.
@Milton Appleby: it seems the only thing fictionalized at this point is some of the characters. I’m sure there has been little re-writing of history.
Get over yourselves and your fake outrage! Here’s a gay themed film the studios didn’t want to make and you’re gonna boycott it! At least wait until you see more than the trailer!
paul dorian lord fredine
@jason smeds: do you work for the illinois department of tourism because you’ve certainly got a hard-on for 1961? stonewall put it on the national news.
Don’t even bother.
The professionally outraged have no lives. They have no real accomplishments to savor in real life. Their only livelihood is finding something to be outraged out.
Social justice warriors are the left wing version of radical christians. You can’t reason with the reasonless.
Their low-esteem has lead to a massively out of control monster ego, feed by self-victimization, self pity, narcissism, and an inferiority complex that’s transformed into a superiority complex.
So many groups wanted to use this movie as a vehicle, not to promote an important event in LGBT history, but to promote themselves. “Put me as the star, not only that. Get rid of all cis white gay men, because I personally have a complex towards them! That’s social justice!”
No, it’s not. It’s just selfish ego.
@Chris Tan: Why is that sad ? The trailer matches the historical photos perfectly.
@Avery Alvarez: I guess they were hoping for some miraculous presentation that transgenders are the founders of the modern Gay Rights movement to make themselves seem like…heros (heroines?) now, and they’re finding the letdown annoying/indfuriating (the fury augmented by all those hormones they take which make you a little whacky emotionally).
He’s acknowledging that the trailer is throwing everyone off. Have they thought about creating a new, more accurate trailer?
Then don’t call it stonewall..call it something that happens in part during the stonewall riots.
Breaking news. Industry run by white, cisgender men rushes to defense of film about white, cisgender man: film at eleven.
@Finrod: Breaking news : film industry (as well as film) invented by white cisgender men.
@SeeingAll: Birth of a Nation one of your favorites?
All movies are fiction. The characters depicted might have existed but the actors playing them have no connection to them other than reading from a script. It’s all about the script and the camera – a total illusion of reality.
@Finrod: It’s a much better film than “Ghost Dad”.
The irony of a white gay man making a whitewashed movie about a riot to fight for an area and ignoring the people who are struggling to find a voice due to discrimination and prejudice.
Anyone who really believes this fictional white pretty boy who could fit in anywhere threw the brick instead of the real life black drag queen who was a prostitute in the area who risked losing his customers who paid for his lively hood is a total moron.
The place was mobbed owned, most of the men of color, white teens, and trans people were PROSTITUTES. The PROSTITUTES were rioting, not the middle-class patrons.
Stop with this fiction about all these white guys rioting. The only white guys who rioted were homeless teens who were at risk of having no funds to live on, and they certainly weren’t the first to get it started.
If you wanna live in fantasy land and believe that white guys start riots go right ahead and try to have it both ways.
One minute you criticize black people for all the many riots and the next you want to take credit for one and call it incredible because you feel it makes you look like heroes.
Fact of the matter is Marsha didn’t live an incredible life and he(or she… unclear if he was trans or not) was fighting for what he had left. To take credit for that and whitewash what he was fighting for is just sad and pathetic.
Take it if you like, you have nothing to gain from it to be honest. This movie will most likely go out with a whimper anyway. It looks like Glee… in a riot setting.
What next a white guy started the LA riots? Or maybe Baltimore? Detroit? Get real.
The term “cis-gender” should be abolished. This term apparently means gay males (only white ones?) who look and behave as what they are: men. Why are we allowing this miniscule subculture within an already small subculture make demands for all the rest of us? Hey, I actually hung out at the Stonewall once in awhile, and I can assure you the clientele was primarily youngish, a mix of hippie-type and college type males–mostly white, but some black guys as well. A few drag queens flirted around every once in awhile (they seemed to make the rounds of all the gay places), but my observation was that they were considered mostly as oddities in the Stonewall and were mostly just tolerated or, usually, ignored. It was a cruise bar for us youngsters like me, and I assure you NOBODY cruised drag queens.
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/7514/stonewalle.jpg The Stonewall riots
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Stonewall_riots.jpg One of the most famous photos. Note the “Boys In the Band” look of many.
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
And this is why “And this is why we can’t have nice things” exists as a phrase in lieu of us having nice things.
BOYCOTT THAT SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What, no critiques of the fashions and makeup and hairstyles in the trailer? I’m shocked, shocked, I say. I’ll see the movie; it’s not a documentary and I’m not expecting it to be.
This is the kind of film that everyone will criticize and stay away from; that is, until it’s available on Netflix. Netflix will have a hard time keeping up with the demand.
I have to laugh at all the assholes that think this film is whitewashed. Look at the trailer again. Oh, that’s right! They won’t be happy unless some minority’s name is above the title. Then, they’ll finally shut up!
@Sluggo2007: Isn’t it strange ? Are they even watching the trailer ??
This movie isn’t being whitewashed, what you are seeing is Trans Activists trying to tans wash a movie and censor out the fact that the first punch was thrown by a black lesbian who was a drag king at the bar.
That hits at so many things that Trans activists hate, lesbians, and ESPECIALLY drag.
From David Carter’s 900-page, thoroughly researched book “Stonewall”:
“All available evidence leads us to conclude that . . . if we wish to name the group most responsible for the success of the riots, it is the young, homeless homosexuals, and, contrary to the usual characterizations of those on the rebellion’s front lines, most were Caucasian; few were Latino; almost none were transvestites or transsexuals; most were effeminate; and a fair number came from middle-class families.”
Carter also makes clear that there was no one triggering event and that there was no one group that gets all the credit. Everyone participated. But if pressed to name the group that took the most hits, it would be these mostly white homeless gay youth.
The boycotters are demanding that Stonewall be falsely depicted as a riot by Black transsexuals and drag queens. It wasn’t. The filmmakers need to stop pandering and apologizing to a group of ignorant [email protected] and trans activists who care nothing about our gay rebellion and only want to appropriate it for their own selfish purposes.
@Cam: I just read through David Carter’s book on Stonewall. It is absolutely true that a lesbian is credited with the first sign of serious resistance outside the bar. He had multiple eyewitness sources backing this up. However, the lesbian (who was never identified) was white and the resistance did not come in the form of a punch. She basically struggled and cursed as they tried to get her into a paddy wagon. Then, when the cops’ attention was elsewhere she slipped out of the car, making them go back for her several times. Trans activists are trying to erase the role of this woman – a real woman – in the uprising.
Interestingly, there is no mention of Sylvia Rivera, the violent, drug addicted transvestite prostitute, playing any role. How shocking that a violent felon who robbed his own clients would lie about this! Carter does confirm that another violent, mentally ill transvestite, Marsha Johnson, did participate. But Johnson did not “throw the brick” that started the riot. Once the riot was well under way, he was observed dropping a heavy object onto the front window of a police car. There was no “brick” event that started the riot. There was no one triggering event. Carter reports that there was a sense of resistance from the beginning of the raid, which gradually escalated. It went from surly compliance to small acts of defiance, to catcalls and mockery, to the struggling lesbian, to insults and expressions of anger directed at the cops, to people throwing small objects like coins, and on to greater violence from there. Everything these boycotters demand be shown on the silver screen is a lie.
@Finrod: ” Industry run by white, cisgender men”
@Captain Obvious: “The place was mobbed owned, most of the men of color, white teens, and trans people were PROSTITUTES. The PROSTITUTES were rioting, not the middle-class patrons.”
There’s no proof for this except your own basless assertion.
“If you wanna live in fantasy land and believe that white guys start riots go right ahead and try to have it both ways.”
I’m 51 and I wasn’t there. I doubt very seriously anyone of you were there unless you’re 71, and I don’t think the geriatric crowd is the one complaining…
@Avery Alvarez: Beautifully said!
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