'Stonewall' Actor Jeremy Irvine Says Criticism of Depiction of Minorities Is Unwarranted


Despite controversy surrounding Stonewall 's depiction of people of color's participation in the violent riots that erupted in New York in 1969 — and ultimately spurred the early gay rights movement — the film's star Jeremy Irvine doesn't seem to think the movie focusing on a fictional white character is all that concerning.

"I think anything that helps bring awareness is only a good thing," the British actor, who plays a farm boy named Danny, said at the film's Toronto International Film Festival unveiling, the Irish Examiner reports. 

Irvine said activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who both had very real impacts on the Stonewall action, are honored throughout the film. "With this movie and with all the press, I've been hearing the name Marsha P. Johnson so much, and Sylvia Rivera, which you wouldn't be hearing so much," he said.

The actor's comments follow criticism of a recent Stonewall trailer, which appears to give credit to fictional white characters while leaving out major minority men and women who played an integral role in the early days of New York City's LGBT activism.

Irvine said the film is potentially more inclusionary of minorities than the trailer, which is only two minutes long, would imply. "I'm not in charge of film marketing. I think the trailer was misleading," Irvine said. "My character does not start the Stonewall riots."

Irvine has also been active on social media, thanking fans for their support and encouraging everyone to check out the full film when it opens in theaters later this week. 

According to Metro, the actor writes in one post: "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 division of society that was so fundamental to one of the most noteworthy civil rights movements in living history."

Stonewall premieres in theaters on Friday, Sept. 25.