“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.