Stonewall: The Whitewashing Of American Cinema

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Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall: The Whitewashing of American Cinema On the night of June 28 1969, a group of people at a New York City bar called the Stonewall Inn, united to stand up to the injustice and violence committed against LGBT people at the hands of the police (Robinson, 2011). This act of protest came to be known as The Stonewall Riots. In the midst of a typical police raid, wherein the New York City police would beat and jail patrons for suspicion of homosexuality, the patrons fought back, a fight which lasted several days, and grew as word spread (Robinson). The Stonewall Inn was a popular location for a vastly multicultural clientele, mostly consisting of Black and Latino homosexual men, drag queens, queer and gender nonconforming…show more content…
Yet the issue lies in the exclusivity of the narratives created by White men (Erigha, 2015). Racial and ethnic minorities, as well as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) narratives occupy a significantly smaller portion of Hollywood production prominence (Erigha, 2015). When heterosexual, White men exercise domination and hegemony with autonomous control over media images, what is continually produced is a one sided, biased image (Erigha, 2015). This in turn can influence perceptions of, behaviours, and cultural attitudes toward members of marginalized groups (Glenn & Cunningham, 2009). Hollywood, like other mass media outlets, is a pervasive and potent ideological medium, which the ruling elites can use to propagate their own philosophy culture and morality (Lull, 2015). Shown in the case of Emmerich’s Stonewall, where an account of a major turning point in the LGBT national narrative, is fictionalized to fit a narrative familiar with the Hollywood edict of the White male lead (Retzloff, 2007; Erigha, 2015). This focus on the incorrect telling of historic events thwarts understanding of the totality of marginalization faced by racial and ethnic minorities and members of the LGBT community. Through participation in the film industry, members of underrepresented groups can counteract White male hegemonic practices, and influence the creation of media images (Collins,

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