HBO and Sex and the City creator Darren Star are working on a biopic about anti-gay rights activist Anita Bryant. Fans of Gus Van Sant’s Milk will remember Bryant as the Florida Citrus Commission spokeswoman, from archive footage, pushing for a California initiative that called for the firing of all homosexual school teachers. Before this, however, Bryant was a Miss America runner up, a Christian pop star, and a bestselling author. Later in life, Bryant lost her Florida citrus endorsement, declined in book and record sales, and had to file for bankruptcy.
The project is being written by Chad Hodge (CW’s Runaway), who wants the picture to focus on “what drove her to do the things that she did.” Hodge hopes to speak with Bryant to capture her perspective. There’s no indication at this point which, if any, political stance the film will take. More info after the jump.
Before her crusade in California, Bryant was a Miss America runner up, a bestselling author, and a Christian pop star. As the face of the Florida Citrus Commission, she sang during TV spots, ending each commercial with the slogan, “A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine.”
“As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.” “[I promise 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.”
Because of her strong, political stance, homosexuals nationwide boycotted Florida orange juice. As a result, Bryant lost her endorsement with the commission, and her book and record sales declined. In 1997, and again in 2001, Bryant had to file for bankruptcy.
Like I said, there’s no political angle yet, but I have difficulty believing Hodge’s portrayal will be too sympathetic. At least, I should hope it isn’t.