Wow. What a time to dredge this up again, Roland.
Roland Emmerich, the director of the 2015 box office epic failure “Stonewall,” which attempted to bring the story of the 1969 Stonewall riots to the general public but was panned for its problematic approach, recently gave an interview to The Guardian about his upcoming sequel to “Independence Day.”
The director received heavy criticism in 2015 for his depiction of the events at Stonewall, with many critics claiming the film whitewashed the Stonewall narrative and erased the drag queens, transgender patrons and queer people of color present during ― and largely responsible for ― the rebellion.
In The Guardian interview, Emmerich is, once again, dredging up old criticism of the film ― and thereby offending an entire community while doing so.
“My movie was exactly what they said it wasn’t,” he told The Guardian. “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.”
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Not only is this inaccurate, but somehow Emmerich is still managing to engage in whitewashing queer history almost a year after his film flopped.
Even worse, “Stonewall” wasn’t just a whitewashed mess. Emmerich also went on record to say that he chose a “straight-acting” character in order to appeal to straight audiences ― an inherently problematic idea within the queer community.
While Emmerich may be gay, he really needs to learn the role of an ally when attempting to tell the stories of queer people of color. Yield the platform when the community you’re trying to represent offers a critique of your form of representation ― and, please, don’t continue to defend your offensive actions a year later.
Do better, Hollywood.