Uma Thurman to play anti-gay activist Anita Bryant in new biopic

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Uma Thurman will play the infamous anti-gay activist Anita Bryant in a biopic titled “Anita,” announced at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. 

The film will be directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, who have been a part of several LGBT documentaries such as Oscar Award winning “The Times of Harvey Milk” and “Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt.” 

The screenplay will be written by Chad Hodge, who was already working on a documentary with HBO about Bryant that eventually fell through. Hodge explains that the film will have scenes from his conversations with Bryant in 2010 in which they discussed her career and whether or not she still opposed gay rights. 

Bryant was once known as the spokesperson for the series “Florida Citrus Commission” commercials in which she would sing and pick oranges straight from trees. 

In 1977, Bryant became better known for her outspoken opinions regarding homosexuality. 

A dedicated Christian, she began to lead a high-profile campaign to overturn legislation in Dade County, Florida that banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She and other anti-gay rights activists were successful, and they began to campaign against gay rights across the country, with Bryant as their leader. 

In one of her speeches she made during the campaign, she said, “If gays are granted rights, next we’ll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernard’s and to nailbiters.”

She and the other activist were unsuccessful at stopping the 1979 Briggs Initiative, which would have prevented homosexuals and supporters of gay rights from working in California schools. 

Bryant’s career in the entertainment industry never recovered from her stint in activism, many wanting to distance themselves from her views. 

She filed bankruptcy in 1997 and now focuses on her career as a spiritual leader. 

429Magazine

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