We’ve shared our deeply negative thoughts on Roland Emmerich’s “Stonewall,” but they’ve somehow been trumped by some thoughts of Emmerich’s own. Giving a rare interview for a film that has become universally despised for a myriad of reasons in the five days since it premiered in Toronto, Emmerich was asked by Buzzfeed about the controversial decision the film makes to fictionalize the story of the Stonewall riots. You know, how he putt the queer and transpeople of color so central to a real-life event in the background and putting a fictional cisgender white boy at the story’s center. His answer is somehow more offensive than “Stonewall” is awful filmmaking:
“You have to understand one thing: I didn’t make this movie only for gay people, I made it also for straight people,” he said. “I kind of found out, in the testing process, that actually, for straight people, [Danny] is a very easy in. Danny’s very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. [Straight audiences] can feel for him.”
Oh yeah, Roland? Your answer for why you altered one of the most important stories in gay rights history is because YOU WANTED STRAIGHT PEOPLE TO NOT FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE? You are like the cinematic equivalent of the worst kind of Grindr profile. And in addition to your quite drastic internalized homophobia, you are also quite clearly a remarkable racist. Another choice quote:
“It’s partly because of the personal element imbued in the film, Emmerich said, that has led to some of the protests surrounding his approach. “As a director you have to put yourself in your movies, and I’m white and gay,” he said.
First of all, no you don’t, Roland. And secondly: Your movie is ABOUT A HISTORICAL EVENT. It doesn’t matter if you’re white and gay. You can’t alter history because you feel uncomfortable with identities outside your insanely delusional and privileged one. Which is made the all the more apparent by the interview’s kicker and final quote:
The petition to boycott Stonewall also takes issue with Ray, the most prominent character of color, falling in love with Danny — critics read that particular arc as a White Savior narrative. Emmerich, for his part, thinks that Ray and the other street hustlers benefit from Danny’s presence, even after Danny leaves the Village to begin his freshman year at Columbia.
“They learned something from Danny — that you can make it, that you can study, you can maybe have a more regular life,” Emmerich said. “I also don’t have the feeling at the end that they are so much on the streets anymore.”
What’s “making it,” Roland? What’s a “regular life”? Having a bajillion dollars and throwing pool parties full of people who look like Danny? Seriously, fuck you and everything you stand for. Do not make movies about people and events you don’t understand.
And please, everyone, do not give a dime to “Stonewall” when it comes out this Friday. If you really, really just need to see how bad it is, buy a ticket for any film that actually celebrates diversity and sneak into “Stonewall.” You’ll want to leave within 15 minutes anyway. Anyways, Rant done. And sorry, this was also written in like 6 minutes in a bit of rage so apologies for typos, etc. Also: Sign this petition. It’s definitely not just about a trailer anymore.