TV

Dustin Lance Black: “When We Rise” Is “Under Attack From The Alt-Right”

"If Donald Trump actually watches the show, he might like the show."

During the Television Critics Association winter tour—where the networks tout their upcoming series and events—ABC hosted a panel for When We Rise, the new gay rights miniseries written by Dustin Lance Black.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10:  Creator/Executive Producer Dustin Lance Black of the television show 'When We Rise' speaks onstage during the Disney-ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2017 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

“Loud and clear, I want to say this show is under attack from the alt-right,” Black told the audience and the series’ cast members at the panel. “But this show is not a war. We are not against anyone. This shows how we are related. It’s a conversation about what its like to be a minority in this word and how important it is for us to work together for equality.”

“There are a lot of people who voted for Donald Trump who will love this show,” he said. “I didn’t write this for half the country. If Donald Trump actually watches the show, he might like the show.”

The series “tells the tale of a family of individuals that helped pioneer one of the last legs of the LGBT movement of the 20th century” starting with the 1969 Stonewall Riots. But Black warned that it’s not a history lesson but a “dramatized retelling of powerful stories” that he spent more than a year researching.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10:  (L-R) Actors Rachel Griffiths and Mary-Louise Parker, Creator/Executive Producer Dustin Lance Black, and actors Guy Pearce, Michael K. Williams, and Ivory Aquino of the television show 'When We Rise' speak onstage during the Disney-ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2017 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

“I pitched this show to one network for one reason,” Black added. “I love them and I treasure them. I wrote this for my aunts and uncles and cousins. … I wrote this to say, ’Hey we have more in common than you think. We speak the same language.'”

“I do hope that a new generation looks to these people for more inspiration. We need them more than ever,” Black added about the activists portrayed in the series—most who are still alive. He added that it was important to “show connective tissue between all people. ’We’ is the most important word in that title.'”

when we rise guy pearce
YouTube

When We Rise has a star-studded cast including Guy Pearce, David Hyde Pierce, Rachel Griffiths, Mary-Louise Parker, Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell.

The eight-hour series is written and executive produced by Black. Gus Van Sant will also executive produce and direct the two-hour premiere.

Watch the trailer below.

h/t: TV Guide

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