HBO Developing Biopic On The Original Carrie Prejean
And it’s being made by the gays!
Sex and the City creator Darren Star is on board to direct a biopic of former beauty queen, singer and anti-gay activist Anita Bryant.
For those of you not familiar with her, footage was seen of Bryant campaigning for the Briggs Initiative in 1978, a California mandate forcing the state to fire gay teachers, in the film Milk.
“She is a fascinating person on every single level,” said writer of the film, Chad Hodge. “The twists and turns of her life are incredible.”
Bryant was born into a religious Oklahoma family in 1940 and by 18, began to win talent competitions and beauty pageants. By 1959, she became a pop star selling millions of records and after settling down, she starting singing Christian music and hawking wholesome products of the time such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Holiday Inn and the Florida Citrus Commission.
A decade later, Bryant was a Christian celebrity and became a political activist. most famously launching to repeal a new Miami-Dade County ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She won.
“As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children,” she once said. After her victory, she promised to “seek help and change for homosexuals, whose sick and sad values belie the word ‘gay,’ which they pathetically use to cover their unhappy lives.”
It took 20 years for the law to be reinstated.
Anita Bryant’s advocacy of hate led to a nationwide boycott from the gay rights movement, thus beginning her decline. She eventually lost her commercial endorsements, her book and record sales declined, got divorced and eventually filed for bankruptcy.
Hodge, who is in talks with Bryant about the film, is hoping for a nuanced portrayal showing “what drove her to do the things that she did.” The writer also added that although these events took place decades ago, the current social, political and religious divisions in this country have made this topic relevant again.