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JEREMY IRVINE Character(s): Danny Film'STONEWALL' (2015) Directed By ROLAND EMMERICH

STONEWALL, a drama about a fictional young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall Riots, considered the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement, which will World Premiere at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival, followed by a release in the theaters in the US on September 25th, just released its official trailer which is not going over well with some in the LGBT community.

Why? According to Matt Baume in The Advocate, “The trailer focuses on a cis white boy who moved to New York just in time to spark the riots. And that’s hardly the full story of Stonewall, since participants included people of color, trans people, drag queens, and lesbians. In fact, I think it’s the diversity of the riots that makes them as powerful as they were and still are.”

“Accounts differ, so there’s no way to know for sure who started things or who the ringleaders were, and there’s no complete list of who was there. But participants included Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman who’s said to have smashed a police car. There was Stormé DeLarverie, a butch lesbian who’s said to have thrown the first punch. And many participants describe seeing Sylvia Rivera, a 17-year old nonbinary-gender drag queen who went on to be a leader for disenfranchised groups for decades.”

Roland Emmerich, who directed “Stonewall,” defended his film in a Facebook post, ” When I first learned about the Stonewall Riots through my work with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, I was struck that the circumstances that lead to LGBT youth homelessness today are pretty much the same as they were 45 years ago. The courageous actions of everyone who fought against injustice in 1969 inspired me to tell a compelling, fictionalized drama of those days centering on homeless LGBT youth, specifically a young midwestern gay man who is kicked out of his home for his sexuality and comes to New York, befriending the people who are actively involved in the events leading up to the riots and the riots themselves. I understand that following the release of our trailer there have been initial concerns about how this character’s involvement is portrayed, but when this film – which is truly a labor of love for me – finally comes to theaters, audiences will see that it deeply honors the real-life activists who were there — including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro — and all the brave people who sparked the civil rights movement which continues to this day. We are all the same in our struggle for acceptance.”

Actor Jeremy Irvine, who stars in the film (pictured above),also released a statement via Instagram where he states, “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. 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 @vlad_alexis who pulls out the first brick in the riot scenes. 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 @jonnybeauchamp who gives an extraordinary performance as a Puerto Rican transvestite struggling to survive on the streets. 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. Jeremy”

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. 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 @vlad_alexis who pulls out the first brick in the riot scenes. 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 @jonnybeauchamp who gives an extraordinary performance as a Puerto Rican transvestite struggling to survive on the streets. 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. Jeremy

A photo posted by Jeremy Irvine (@_jeremyirvine) on

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