Watch: First Trailer for Roland Emmerich’s Controversial Gay Rights Drama ‘Stonewall’

The first trailer for Roland Emmerich’s upcoming gay rights drama Stonewall was released online Tuesday.

Stonewall centers on the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York in 1969 that sparked the beginning of the gay rights movement.

Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) takes a step back from big-budget action blockbusters to direct the smaller-scale picture off a script from Jon Robin Baitz, best known for his work on the television series “Brothers and Sisters” and “The Slap.”

Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors”) star.

The film has already drawn the ire of some LGBT advocates, who claim that Emmerich “whitewashed” the film by focusing its central narrative on a straight, white male.

“Do not throw money at the capitalistic industry that fails to recognize true s/heros,” reads a petition from the Gay-Straight Alliance Network that had already gathered over 12,000 signatures by Thursday night. “Do not support a film that erases our history. Do not watch Stonewall.”

The backlash apparently got to Emmerich, because he issued a response on Facebook Thursday:

I understand that following the release of our trailer there have been initial concerns about how this character’s involvement is portrayed, but when this film – which is truly a labor of love for me – 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.

Check out the trailer for the controversial film above.

Stonewall hits theaters September 25.


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