Donald Trump Might Like ‘When We Rise’ Chronicling Gay Rights Movement, Dustin Lance Black Insists – TCA

“If Donald Trump actually watches the show, he might like the show,” Dustin Lance Black told a dubious ballroom of TV critics and reporters at TCA about When We Rise, ABC’s eight-hour miniseries about the gay rights movement.

“I think a lot of people who voted for Donald Trump will love this show,” he said. “I don’t see this show as trying to speak to only half of the country — I didn’t write the show for half the country.”

Rachel Griffiths, Mary-Louise Parker, Guy Pearce, Micheal K. Williams and Ivory Aquino star; Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Denis O’Hare, David Hyde Pierce guest star in the miniseries that chronicles the personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of men and women who helped pioneer the civil rights struggle.

But, moments earlier, Black said the project “is under attack by the alt-right” – which threw its support to Trump.

“This show is not a war. We are not against anyone,” he insisted.

Black said the project started four years ago when he “heard a rumor ABC was looking into optioning LGBT properties. It was revelation,” given that eight years ago the film Milk, for which he won an Original Screenplay Oscar, struggled to get financing.

“I would be give anything in the world for it to be less topical now,” Black said of When We Rise.  But he’s not surprised because, as a student of history, he said he knows history to be a pendulum, not a straight line.

“I’m grateful for ABC’s courage, and everyone on stage who helped make this…I do think it’s a necessary conversation to have right now, about what it’s like to be a minority in this world and how important it is to work together for equality.

Black said he wrote the miniseries for his family. “I grew up in the South in a religious home, a military home, a conservative home,” he said. “I love them and I treasure them. I wrote this for my cousins and aunts and uncles and my family, from that ‘other America,’ to say we’ve got more in common than you think and we can speak the same language. Historically, ABC has been the network we trust to tell us family stories.”

The miniseries kicks off at 9 PM Monday, February 27, the day after the Oscars, and airs nightly through March 2.

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  1. on Jan 10, 2017 12:39 pm

    All I see is a lot of ” Trumpaphopia” ; irrational fear by those who are bigoted, lie and generally slander Donald Trump. . You, .Trumpaphob. Trump has not spoken bad words against the LGBT…you liberals are a trip . keep lying because the more you press the stronger he gets, like it or not :) …but uh…obama and hillart sure wasnt a fan of gay marriage until they saw it would garner them votes, ..sorry to lay facts on ya :/

    • nutleyon Jan 10, 2017 4:08 pm

      Not only has Trump never said a bad word against gays, he’s also the ONLY presidential candidate in U.S. history to put gay rights on his platform. Obama and Clinton flip flopped on the issue of gay marriage more times over the years than a fish on concrete.

      • TVScribeon Jan 10, 2017 4:32 pm

        You folks are delusional. Trump promised to appoint SCOTUS judges who would overturn Obergefell, which is hardly a gay-friendly or inclusive stance. He chose, as his VP, a vociferously anti-gay politician, and has stuffed his cabinet with the same. Jeff Sessions is no friend of the gay community (or any minority for that matter), so this administration is shaping up to the be most anti-LGBT in history. As for lying, that’s Trump’s specialty, not those who oppose him with the truth. But you go on trying to defend the indefensible.

    • on Feb 2, 2017 11:10 am

      Agreed! And I’m a gay person. You guys need to stop the right or Trump bashing already.

  2. Debs Harton Jan 10, 2017 12:54 pm

    When are we going to be able to see this in the UK?

  3. avid film and tv fanon Jan 10, 2017 2:23 pm

    Good for Black. Hollywood should listen up. Not all trump supporters are hate mongers. Many were just tired of “politics as usual.” If you dig into the numbers, you’ll see that many of them voted for Obama, twice! America is still a diverse and great country. That will not change a week from now.

  4. pickles111on Jan 10, 2017 2:40 pm

    Trump is not homophobic. Just because a person voted for Trump doesn’t make them homophobic either.

    • TVScribeon Jan 10, 2017 4:33 pm

      Trump is an enemy to the LGBT community. See my comment above.

      • on Jan 10, 2017 4:51 pm

        Trump openly campaigned FOR LGBTQ rights for the entirety of the campaign.

        • TVScribeon Jan 10, 2017 5:29 pm

          In what reality? He’s anti-marriage equality and has stocked his swamp with an virulently anti-gay VP as well as several of his cabinet picks. He promised to appoint justices to overturn Obergefell. Sorry, but I live in the real world, not Trumplandia.

          • on Jan 11, 2017 7:52 am

            This simply isn’t true. AT ALL.

        • Kateon Jan 10, 2017 8:44 pm

          With all due respect, Trump’s cabinet has been filled by the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in the country. They actively fight against LGBTQ freedom, equality and protection. How on earth can you call him LGBTQ friendly?

          • TVScribeon Jan 11, 2017 8:55 pm

            @Anonymous It’s all verifiably true with a simple Google search. Trump enablers can’t defend so they deny, deflect, and denigrate. Your willful ignorance is showing. Bigly.

      • nutleyon Jan 10, 2017 4:52 pm

        The enemy to the LGBT community are those who Trump wants to prevent moving here so you can go to your nightclubs and not get shot up or blown up in the name of Allah.

        You know, the same group that your gal Hillary was promising to import over 500% more of.

        • TVScribeon Jan 10, 2017 5:30 pm

          An absurd distortion of the record which comes as no surprise from a Trump enabler.

          • Ayatollah Trumpon Jan 10, 2017 6:48 pm

            not only is nutley, and some of the other nuts on here, a Trump enabler but he’s too ignorant to see that the racist/sexist/homophobe/anti-immigrant agenda their Fuhrer & Co is pushing in the US is simply a different shade of the same ultra-conservative religion-based demagoguery as the one their vile extremist Muslim counterparts push in the Middle East