Raven-Symone, Aisha Tyler and Jason Lewis Star in the Lifetime Original Movie 'For One Night' About A Teenager's Courageous Effort to Integrate Her High School Prom, Airing Monday, February 6
Inspired By a True Story
PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 11 - Raven-Symone ("That's So Raven,"
"The Cheetah Girls"), Aisha Tyler ("Ghost Whisperer," "Friends") and Jason
Lewis ("Sex in the City") star in the Lifetime Original Movie "For One Night,"
a moving drama inspired by a true story about a 12th grader who risks her
social and academic standing to end her high school's long tradition of
racially segregated proms. Set in present day, the town of Mercier, Louisiana
has come a long way since its past, where segregated proms are accepted as a
fact of life by both black and white students. When a gifted and popular
senior (Raven-Symone) innocently suggests changing the policy, it re-ignites
the town's smoldering racial tensions. The teenager gets some unexpected
support from a New Orleans journalist (Aisha Tyler), who has her own complex
relationship to Mercier. "For One Night" premieres Monday, February 6 at 9 PM
(ET/PT) on Lifetime Television.
High School Senior Brianna McCallister (Symone) is smart, pretty and
popular. It's no wonder she's chairperson of the black prom committee -- one
of the two prom committees at her school. Although Mercier High is an
integrated campus where black and white kids mix socially, its longstanding
tradition of segregated proms has remained unchallenged for decades. When
Brianna innocently suggests black and white seniors put on a single dance,
this sparks controversy among the school's parents, who still harbor deeply
ingrained prejudices. After the school principal issues a veiled threat to
Brianna -- to drop the single prom idea -- Brianna must decide whether or not
to stand up for what she knows is right, even if it means possibly ruining
prom night for everyone.
Brianna's plight piques the interest of 32-year-old Desiree Howard
(Tyler), a Mercier native who left to become a newspaper reporter in New
Orleans. Learning of the prom debate during a rare trip home, she writes an
expose that thrusts the town's institutionalized racism into the spotlight.
But Desiree's visit to the town reveals something else: there is still
chemistry between her and her old flame Mark Manning (Lewis), now the school's
"What I found fascinating about this story is that these are ordinary
people who started out with no social agenda," said Executive Producer Kyle
Bowser. "They are not crusaders, but are people who made a very principled
choice that ended up being a shot heard around the world. From my point of
view, this is not really a story about race. It is about two women who, after
an initial period of mistrust, link arms to conquer adversity."
In discussing the film, 20-year-old actress-singer Raven-Symone noted that
like many young people today, Mercier students of all races think nothing of
socializing together while the town's older generation has a much harder time
letting go of its bigotry. "In the movie, the mature people sense the
underlying racism but the kids really don't because it's present day. Everyone
listens to the same music ... they party together ... they're friends. But
the parents are the ones that are kind of keeping this blanket of racism over
the town and are very set in their ways."
Aisha Tyler, who plays journalist Desiree Howard, added "This is an
important story to tell because since the '60s we've all gotten a little
complacent about race relations in this country. We think we've done the work
and we're finished. I think it's important to show that these things are
still going on and to really confront people's preconceptions and their
comfort with the way things are."
As part of the Network's award-winning public education and advocacy
campaign, "Our Lifetime Commitment," Lifetime is joining with leading
non-profits; including Girls Inc., the Martin Luther King Foundation, Youth
Service America and other organizations to create an educational outreach
initiative -- on-air, online and in the community -- to highlight themes
presented in the movie of transcending racial barriers and encouraging
students to reach for their dreams by becoming leaders in their schools.
Immediately following the film's premiere, Lifetime will air an original
Public Service Announcement (PSA) with Raven-Symone to promote tolerance and
encourage viewers to make a difference in their communities. Lifetime's
educational viewers' guide will be available at lifetimetv.com.
"For One Night" is produced by von Zerneck/Sertner Films in association
with Res Ipsa Media, Inc. for Lifetime Television. Robert M. Sertner, Frank
von Zerneck (Lifetime's "Gracie's Choice" and "We Were the Mulvaneys") and
Kyle Bowser ("For Your Love," "Midnight Mac") serve as executive producers.
Ernest Dickerson ("ER," "Strange Justice") directs from a teleplay written by
Denitria Harris-Lawrence ("Any Day Now").
LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated
basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, LIFETIME is
committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information
programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their
families. LIFETIME Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women,
Lifetime Home Entertainment and Lifetime Online are part of LIFETIME
Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and
The Walt Disney Company.
* Photography is available at http://www.lifetimepress.com
SOURCE Lifetime Television
Web Site: http://www.lifetimetv.com