USA NETWORK TO AIR ACADEMY AWARD(R)-WINNING FILM "MILK" WITH SPECIAL INTRODUCTION BY EMMY(R)AWARD-WINNER AND ACTIVIST NEIL PATRICK HARRIS
NBCU Cable Entertainment Group Chairman Bonnie Hammer Builds on Successful Quarterly Film Series Advancing National Dialogue on Promoting Tolerance and Acceptance
The Special Limited Commercial Presentation of Milk Will Premiere
Saturday, June 1 at 8/7c on USA Network in Commemoration of Pride Month
NEW YORK - MAY 23, 2013 - NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group Chairman Bonnie Hammer today announced that USA Network will air Milk as the next film in the quarterly series that builds upon the Characters Unite public service campaign to advance the national dialogue to help combat hate and discrimination and promote greater tolerance and acceptance. With a personal introduction by Emmy(R) Award-winner and activist Neil Patrick Harris, Milk will be featured in commemoration of Pride Month, with limited commercial interruptions, on Saturday, June 1 at 8/7c.
"This film series has allowed us to present to audiences some of the most courageous characters of our time. Harvey Milk gave hope to generations of gay and lesbian Americans by encouraging them to live their lives openly and to speak out against the discrimination and prejudice they faced," said Hammer. "We are honored to share his story in commemoration of Gay Pride Month."
In 2008, Milk touched audiences by recounting the extraordinary true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to office in the state of California. An acclaimed success, Milk went on to garner eight Academy(R) Award nominations, winning for Best Actor for Sean Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Dustin Lance Black. Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was a Gay Rights activist. His life changed history, and his courage changed lives. In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in California. His victory was not just one for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. The film was directed by Gus Van Sant and also starred Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco and Diego Luna.
Milk is the fourth film in the successful Characters Unite Quarterly Film Series dedicated to using the power of great storytelling to increase awareness of social injustices, stimulate productive dialogue and encourage further progress. The series launched with To Kill a Mockingbird, in April 2012, with an introduction by President Barack Obama and was followed by The Color Purple, in November 2012, with an introduction by the film's star Whoopi Goldberg. Most recently, USA aired Schindler's List in February 2013 with a new introduction by the film's director Steven Spielberg, garnering 3.2 million viewers and over one million in the key demos.
USA will offer additional information and resources at charactersunite.com and through the interactive second screen experience app, Zeebox.
Characters Unite, USA Network's award-winning public service campaign was created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network's iconic "Characters Welcome" brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to combating prejudice, discrimination and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance -- on-air, online and in communities around the country.
The #1 network in all of basic cable for seven consecutive years, USA Network is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. USA is a leader in scripted programming with a powerful stable of originals, spectacular live television and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, a broad portfolio of acquired series and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.