An LGBT advocacy organization has called for a boycott of the upcoming gay rights historical drama Stonewall for featuring a fictional young, white male as its protagonist.
Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall, set for release this Friday, September 25, centers on the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City that sparked the beginning of the gay rights movement.
But a number of LGBT advocates have blasted Emmerich and screenwriter Jon Robin Baitz, both gay themselves, who chose to tell the story through the eyes of the fictional character Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine), a young, gay white male from the Midwest who becomes a part of the movement when he visits the Inn.
“It’s not just a little bit inaccurate, it’s a lot,” BiNet USA president Faith Cheltenham told the Wrap of the controversial film. “Fiction still has a responsibility. Filmmakers have a responsibility to not re-create history, to not take someone else’s history and turn it into their own. That’s an affront to civility, really. And it’s theft. It’s the wholesale appropriation of a group of people that were there.”
“I’m sorry, the boy’s not Tarzan. He didn’t run into the jungle and rescue us from the lion’s den, so why even do this?” Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a transgender activist who was involved in the original Stonewall protest, told the outlet. “Why not just tell it like it was or leave it alone? You want to call it whitewashing, that’s fine. I call it lying.”
After the film’s trailer premiered earlier this summer, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network introduced a petition calling for a boycott of the “newest whitewashed version of queer history.”
“Do not throw money at the capitalistic industry that fails to recognize true s/heroes,” the petition reads. “Do not support a film that erases our history. Do not watch Stonewall.”
The petition had gathered 24,544 signatures by Thursday morning, just shy of its 25,000-signature goal.
A representative for Emmerich did not immediately return Breitbart News’ request for comment. But in a Facebook post after the release of the trailer, the director defended his film, saying that when it “finally comes to theaters, audiences will see that it deeply honors the real-life activists who were there — including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro — and all the brave people who sparked the civil rights movement which continues to this day.”
“We are all the same in our struggle for acceptance,” Emmerich wrote.
Check out the trailer for Stonewall below.