Blissfully Ignorant Director Roland Emmerich On Stonewall Backlash: 'So Be It'


Reviews of Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall have begun pouring in, and the general consensus is that, well, it really, really, really sucks. The poster promises that the film tells the story of “where pride began,” but—as Gawker’s Rich Juzwiak pointed out in his review—it tells the wrong one.

Arguably the most controversial decision made by Emmerich and screenwriter Jon Robin Baitz was their decision to use an invented white gay man as its central character. And though the first person to throw a brick at Stonewall was a trans woman of color named Marsha P. Johnson, the film gives that specific honor to a fake gay man of the color white named Danny Winters. (That’s really what they named him!)

When asked about these decisions by BuzzFeed, Emmerich didn’t seem to give much of a shit.

“Some people warned me, but I said, ‘Well, you know, so be it.’ […] 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.”

He continued:

“As a director you have to put yourself in your movies, and I’m white and gay.”

Ah, OK! So because you’re a director who happens to be white and gay, your movies—regardless of whether or not they’re based on true stories about trans people of color—should be viewed through the specific lens of someone…like you. Good to know! I don’t remember seeing a white gay man fighting monsters in Godzilla, saving the world in The Day After Tomorrow, or giving aliens a computer virus in Independence Day, but sure!

Based on his almost unbelievably tone-deaf comments, the Jezebel staff came up with a list of more movies that Mr. Emmerich, as a white gay man, might feel comfortable making next.

  • 12 Years a White and Gay Man
  • My Big White Gay Wedding
  • Rosemary’s White Gay Baby
  • A White Gay Man on Elm Street
  • Mean White Gays
  • Steel White Gay Magnolias
  • Pretty White Gay Man
  • Jurassic White Gay Man
  • The White Gay Godfather
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the White Gay Man
  • W.G.: The White Gay Man
  • White Gay Man Unchained
  • 9 to 5: White Gay Man Edition
  • Monty Python and the Holy White Gay
  • White Gay Mantz
  • Party White Gay
  • No Country For Old White Gay Men
  • V For White Gay Men
  • White Gay Man Home Alone
  • Little White Gay Men
  • National White Gay Men’s European Vacation
  • Andy Hall
  • Free White Gay Man
  • (White) Homo-ward Bound
  • Speed, But With a White Gay Man
  • The Dark White Gay Man Rises
  • White Gay Lion King
  • Breakfast At a White Gay Man’s House
  • Guess Which White Gay Man Is Coming to Dinner
  • The White Gay Joy Luck Club
  • How White Gay Man Got His Groove Back
  • Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your White Gay Men in the Hood
  • Aaron Brockovich
  • Do the White Gay Man
  • Thelmo & Louis
  • White Gay Outta Compton
  • White Gay Hoop Dreams
  • Ordinary White Gay Men
  • The Blair White Gay Project
  • White Gangry Men
  • How To Lose a White Gay Man In 10 Days
  • The White Gay Man with the Dragon Tattoo
  • White Gay Shrek

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via Roadside Attractions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin