HBO Max pays tribute to the epic origin stories of the LGBTQ+ movement with EQUAL, a masterful four-part docu-series that captures the gripping and true backstories of the leaders and unsung heroes, pre-Stonewall, who changed the course of American history through their tireless activism. These warriors gave voice, often in a life or death battle, to millions of people yearning for equality and the desire to be themselves.
Each hour-long episode in the series plays like a thriller, bringing to life the high stakes and hard deadlines of historical events that have not yet been given their due. EQUAL honors the rebels of yesteryear through high-end re-enactments, never-before-seen footage, and captures the emotions of the times with messages just as relevant today.
Over the course of the series, viewers will meet a wide range of LGBTQ+ pioneers, including: Harry Hay, a gay rights activist and the founder of the modern gay movement; The Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian civil and political rights organization; Christine Jorgensen, transgender woman who flew to Europe in 1951 to undergo sex reassignment surgery and publicly transitioned; and gay rights and African American rights leader Bayard Rustin. Part four chronicles The Stonewall Riots from start to finish as well as the first Pride, the year after Stonewall.
“In June, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which shepherded in a new era for LGBTQ+ pride. While we know the story behind that fateful summer night, there’s a lot of fascinating, untold history of the patriots, artists, and thinkers who paved the way,” said Jennifer O’Connell, Executive Vice President of Original Non-fiction and Kids Programming, HBO Max. “It’s time to share their heroic tales, and we could not have more perfect partners in Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti, Jon Jashni and Scout to introduce our HBO Max audience to these historical trailblazers.”
“We are extremely proud to partner with these groundbreaking producers on a subject this important, at a time this critical,” said Mike Darnell, President, Unscripted & Alternative Television at Warner Bros. “What a perfect project to launch Warner Horizon Unscripted Television’s new documentary series unit.”
EQUAL is executive produced and led by Scout Productions’ Emmy Award-winning team David Collins, Academy Award® winner Michael Williams (The Fog of War) and Rob Eric (Queer Eye) and Joel Chiodi 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) from That’s Wonderful Productions, Jon Jashni (Lost in Space) from Raintree Ventures, and Mike Darnell and Brooke Karzen, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
About HBO Max
HBO Max is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering debuting in spring 2020. With 10,000 hours of curated premium content anticipated at launch, HBO Max will offer 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 Warner Media’s rich library including Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. Sign up for updates at HBOMax.com.
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 Now, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. Warner Media is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).
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 & Alternative 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 Little Big Shots, starring Melissa McCarthy for NBC.
About Scout Productions
Scout Productions is an Emmy and Academy Award-winning production company whose groundbreaking television series and films have made an impact around the world. Under the leadership and creative direction of David Collins, Michael Williams, and Rob Eric, Scout has created and produced hundreds of hours of programming for networks and content providers such as Netflix, NBC, CBS, ABC, Bravo, VH1, OWN, IFC, Sundance, Disney+, MTV, ABC Family, Showtime, and HBO. From competition series to transformation series, documentary series, and more, the formats that Scout develops are built with an eye toward showcasing men and women of all walks of life, be it race, religion, gender, sexuality, body shapes, age, or otherwise. Most notably, Scout created and produced the Emmy Award-winning Queer Eye, both for Bravo and Netflix. The original series on Bravo aired in 120 countries and 19 international formats were produced. It made its mark critically and across the cultural landscape, winning an Emmy, a PGA Award, and two GLAAD Media Awards. Since the February 2018 release of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Scout has earned a GLAAD Media Award, two TCA Awards, and seven Emmy Awards. In film, Scout’s executive producers have produced the Academy Award-winning The Fog of War, the cult-classic thriller Session 9, and the critically acclaimed thriller Transsiberian.
To learn more, go to www.scoutproductionsinc.com
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 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, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Black Lightning, All American, Batwoman; DC Universe’s Titans, Doom Patrol, NBC’s Blindspot; Netflix’s You, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina; 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 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 and timely content with an underlying sense of purpose and social consciousness. TWP produces the Netflix series Special, written by and starring Ryan O’Connell, which received four EMMY nominations this year and recently set up Carla, a multi-camera comedy with a series commitment at FOX. TWP has sold and developed a number of series to Broadcast and Cable, including Netflix, Apple, NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS, TBS, Freeform, The CW, and QuiBi. Additionally, Parsons and Spiewak serve as executive producers, and Norsoph a co-producer on the hit CBS sitcom Young Sheldon. TWP’s first feature film, A Kid Like Jake, starring Parsons and Claire Danes, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and IFC released it later that year.
About Jon Jashni
Jon Jashni is a media investor, advisor and content producer who operates through his investment fund Raintree Ventures. He is currently a Founding Advisor of Influence Media, a content fund which is an alliance of Morgan Stanley, Providence Equity and Warner Music. Jashni is also a Co-Founder of Studio 2043, an Endeavor Content pod which is focused on creating inclusive entertainment for global audiences. He also serves as a strategic advisor to such entities as Mass Appeal, Sreda Global, Keshet Studios, Wevr and PRETTYBIRD. From 2006 to 2016, Jashni was President and Chief Creative Officer of Legendary Entertainment. During his 10-year tenure at the company he was integral, as a founding partner, 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 $7.1 billion in gross revenue.