HBO Max has announced Emmy®, Tony® and Grammy®-winner Billy Porter (Pose, American Horror Story: Apocalypse) as narrator for EQUAL, the four-part LGBTQ+ docuseries chronicling the untold events leading up to the Stonewall Uprising, premiering Thursday, October 22. Additionally, the streamer has released the first look trailer for the series, which will premiere as a binge drop during LGBT History Month, the officially recognized period honoring the history and contributions of trailblazers fighting for equality and justice in the queer community, many of whose stories are featured in the groundbreaking series. Porter joins an extraordinary list of previously announced talent, including Primetime Emmy® winner Samira Wiley, Grammy® nominee Cheyenne Jackson, SAG® nominee Anthony Rapp, Primetime Emmy® nominee Shannon Purser, Heather Matarazzo, Jamie Clayton, Isis King, Gale Harold, and many others.
EQUAL will introduce viewers to a wide range of LGBTQ+ visionaries portrayed by the cast, many of whom identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Each part offers a distinct and connected chapter within the historical timeline: part one, “The Birth of a Movement,” explores the rise of early organizations, The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively; part two, “Transgender Pioneers,” chronicles the 20th century trans experience, bookended by the 1966 Compton Cafeteria riots in San Francisco; part three, “Black is Beautiful, Gay is Good!” examines the contributions from the Black community on the growing LGBTQ+ civil rights movement; and part four, “Stonewall: From Rebellion to Liberation,” ties in the decades long struggles with the culminated Stonewall uprising – the beginning of the Pride movement.
EQUAL is executive produced and led by Scout Productions’ Emmy Award-winning team – Academy Award® winner Michael Williams (The Fog of War), Joel Chiodi, David Collins(Queer Eye), and Rob Eric (Queer Eye) along with Emmy® nominated Berlanti Productions’ Greg Berlanti (Love, Simon, Arrow, Riverdale, The Flash) and Sarah Schechter (Supergirl, Riverdale), Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory, The Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band) and Emmy® nominee Todd Spiewak (Special, Young Sheldon, A Kid Like Jake) as well as Emmy® nominee Eric Norsoph from That’s Wonderful Productions, Jon Jashni (Lost in Space) from Raintree Ventures, and Mike Darnell and Brooke Karzen, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Diane Becker and Melanie Miller of Fishbowl Films serve as producers. Acclaimed filmmaker and producer Stephen Kijak (Sid & Judy) is the showrunner and director of episodes one, three and four alongside ground-breaking trans director Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons), who directs episode two.
About Billy Porter
Billy Porter is an award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright. He recently won the Emmy Award for Lead Actor for his appearance in FX’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated drama “Pose”, and most recently received his second Emmy nomination for this role. A Hollywood Walk of Fame inductee, Porter has numerous theatre credits, including the role of Lola in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” which he originated in 2013 and for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards, as well as the Grammy for best musical-theatre album. Recently, Porter appeared in the second season of CBS All Access’ “The Twilight Zone”, and “American Horror Story: Apocalypse”. He can next be seen in the third season of FX’s “Pose”, voicing Audrey II in Greg Berlanti’s remake of “Little Shop of Horrors,” as well as the highly anticipated “Cinderella” re-make in 2021. Porter’s most recent single “Finally Ready” was released in June 2020; he also released his single “For What It’s Worth” in April to motivate potential votes.
About HBO Max
HBO Max is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering, which debuted May 27, 2020. With 10,000 hours of curated premium content, HBO Max offers powerhouse programming for everyone in the home, bringing together HBO, a robust slate of new original series, key third-party licensed programs and movies, and fan favorites from WarnerMedia’s rich library including motion picture and TV series from Warner Bros., highlights from New Line, and catalog titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more.
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others, as well as Xandr’s suite of advanced advertising solutions designed to help to improve advertising for brands, publishers, and consumers.
About Scout Productions
Scout Productions is an Emmy® and Academy Award®-winning multimedia company working primarily in film and television content creation. Scout is known for culturally resonant, critically-acclaimed storytelling that shines a light on lives and characters not traditionally found in mainstream content. Most notably, Scout created and produced the Emmy Award-winning Queer Eye for the Straight Guy for Bravo, as well as the wildly popular reimagining of Queer Eye for Netflix, for which Scout earned another eight Emmy Awards. Recently, Scout Productions’ hit show Legendary premiered on HBO Max to rave reviews. The series highlights the world of modern day voguing and ball culture, and features teams battling with attitude for cash and trophies and has been renewed for a second season. In film, they have produced the Academy Award-winning documentary The Fog of War for Errol Morris, the cult-classic thriller Session 9, and the critically acclimated thriller Transsiberian.
About Berlanti Productions
Berlanti Productions is a production company founded by Emmy and Golden Globe nominated writer, director, and producer, Greg Berlanti. The company has produced both critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles since its inception in 2006. Berlanti’s producing partner, Sarah Schechter, serves as Chairwoman and David Madden serves as President of the company.
Currently, Berlanti Productions has a record-breaking 19 scripted series across seven different networks, the highest number of shows to air at one time. Series produced under Berlanti Productions include CW’s Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl, Black Lightning, All American, Batwoman, DC Universe’s Titans, HBO Max’s Doom Patrol, HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, Netflix’s You, FOX’s Prodigal Son.
Most recently, Berlanti directed the highly acclaimed 2018 film, Love, Simon.
Berlanti Productions has a wealth of film titles currently in development, including Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, set to premiere in July 2020 and Unpregnant, the first of four films Berlanti Productions is making for HBO Max. Other upcoming film projects including Rock Hudson’s biopic All That Heaven Allows, written by Richard Lagravenese at Universal Pictures, and Alice & Freda’s Forever, to be directed by Jennifer Kent for Amazon Studios.
About Warner Horizon Unscripted Television
Warner Horizon Unscripted Television is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of primetime reality series for both network and cable. A division of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television, led by Mike Darnell, Warner Horizon’s Unscripted Television slate includes The Voice, and the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted Ellen’s Game of Games for NBC; The Bachelor franchise, which also includes The Bachelorette, and Bachelor In Paradise for ABC; and Ava DuVernay’s highly anticipated Home Sweet Home for NBC.
About That’s Wonderful Productions
That’s Wonderful Productions (TWP) was founded in 2015 by Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak with an eye towards distinct voices and character-driven storytelling; the company’s focus is to produce elevated, timely content with an underlying social consciousness. TWP is producing the upcoming Fox comedy CALL ME KAT with BBC Worldwide based on the British format MIRANDA, starring Mayim Bialik, written by Darlene Hunt, and directed by Beth McCarthy Miller. TWP also produces the Netflix comedy SPECIAL, currently on its second season, written by and starring Ryan O’Connell, which received four EMMY nominations. On the feature side TWP produced the acclaimed A KID LIKE JAKE, which was a 2018 Sundance Film Festival Selection that starred Jim Parsons, Claire Danes, and Octavia Spencer and was distributed by IFC Films. TWP is set to go into production on SPOILER ALERT: THE HERO DIES in 2021 at Focus Features with Michael Showalter directing. TWP has an exclusive deal with WBTV and has sold and developed a number of series in Broadcast and Cable, including HBO Max, Netflix, Apple, Quibi, NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS, TBS, Freeform, and The CW. Additionally, Parsons and Spiewak serve as executive producers, and TWP’s Head of Development and Production, Eric Norsoph, a co-producer on the hit CBS sitcom Young Sheldon.
About Jon Jashni
Jon Jashni is a media investor, advisor and content executive who operates through his investment fund Raintree Ventures. He is currently a Founding Advisor to Influence Media, a music fund allied with Warner Music, and Sreda Global, the leading Russian TV studio. Jashni also serves as a strategic advisor to such entities as Mass Appeal, Bonfire Game Studios, Prometheus Entertainment and Wevr and is a Founding Partner of Synthesis Entertainment. From 2006 to 2016, Jashni was Co-Founder, President and Chief Creative Officer of Legendary Entertainment. During his 10-year tenure at the company he was integral to establishing and evolving the company into a leading, diversified, multi-platform media company. Over the course of his career, Jashni has been associated with the creation and monetization of content that has generated over $7 billion in gross revenue.