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Boycotts called for the new Stonewall film, and now main star Jeremy Irvine responds

Boycotts called for the new Stonewall film, and now main star Jeremy Irvine responds

Some people are calling for a boycott of the new Stonewall film

Activists are calling for a boycott of upcoming movie Stonewall, saying it does not shine a light on the real heroes of the movement.

Director Roland Emmerich, the man behind Independence Day, is accused of ‘whitewashing’ for revolving the historical 1969 drama around a fictional white, cisgender male protagonist.

Some are concerned that trans heroes like Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera and butch lesbian Stormé DeLaverie, who by most accounts are credited with kicking off the riots that helped to change LGBTI history.

In one petition, which has been signed by over 14,000 people, it says: ‘It is time that black and brown transwomen and drag queens are recognized for their efforts in the riots throughout the nation.

‘From the preview alone, we know that will not be happening. Majority of characters cast are white actors, cis men play the role of transwomen, and folks who began the riots do not seem to be credited with such revolutionary acts.

‘WE ARE CALLING A BOYCOTT OF STONEWALL. Do not throw money at the capitalistic industry that fails to recognize true s/heros. Do not support a film that erases our history. Do not watch Stonewall.’

And now Jeremy Irvine, the star of the upcoming movie, has said the movie represents ‘every race and section of society’.

‘To anyone with concerns about the diversity of the #StonewallMovie, I saw the movie for the first time last week and can assure you all that it represents almost every race and section of society that was so fundamental to one of the most important civil rights movements in living history,’ Irvine said on Instagram.

‘Marsha P Johnson is a major part of the movie, and although first hand accounts of who threw the first brick in the riots vary wildly, it is a fictional black transvestite character played by the very talented Vladimir Alexis who pulls out the first brick in the riot scene.

‘My character is adopted by a group of street kids whilst sleeping rough in New York. In my opinion, the story is driven by the leader of this gang played by Jonny Beauchamp who gives an extraordinary performance as a Puerto Rican transvestite struggling to survive on the streets.’

He added: ‘Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character represents the Mattachine Society, who were at the time a mostly white and middle class gay rights group who stood against violence and radicalism.

‘I felt incredibly nervous taking on this role knowing how important the subject matter is to so many people but Roland Emmerich is one of the most sensitive and heartfelt directors I’ve worked with and I hope that, as an ensemble, we have not only done such an important story justice but also made a good movie as well.’

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