Openly gay Hollywood A-lister Roland Emmerich has been very vocal in speaking out against homophobia and racism in the movie business. In 2006, the director gave $150,000 to The Legacy Project
in support of gay and lesbian film preservation.
With the release of his new film Stonewall
on September 25, Emmerich takes a step back from his usual summer blockbusters (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow)
and takes a heartfelt look into his community's past. Stonewall
is a fictionalized retelling of the legendary Stonewall Riots, the period of a few nights in June 1969 when a collection of gay white men, lesbians, street hustlers, drag queens and transgender New Yorkers banded together to fight police oppression of LGBT people at a popular gay bar, launching the nationwide LGBT equality movement.
In recent weeks, after distributor Roadside Attractions released a two minute trailer, certain factions in the current LGBT community condemned the film, saying that it "whitewashes" history. At issue is the casting of Jeremy Irvine, a white cisgender actor, as Danny Winters, the film's fictional lead. Trans people of color, an integral part of the riots, have been omitted from the film, say critics. More than 25,000 people have signed a petition calling for a boycott of Stonewall.