Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) and Jim Parsons (The Big Band Theory, Young Sheldon) are collaborating to create a new LGBTQ-focused documentary series for the upcoming HBO Max streaming service.
The docuseries, titled Equal, will explore true stories, landmark events and forgotten heroes of the LGBTQ+ community. The four part series will contain hour long episodes that feature and highlight the struggles of the heroes, never before seen footage and reenactments of overlooked historical events. The series will capture the emotions of the times with messages just as relevant as today, according to HBO Max.
The series comes from a new unit, focused on new documentary series, created by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
“We are extremely proud to partner with these groundbreaking producers on a subject this important, at a time this critical,” said Mike Darnell, president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros. “What a perfect project to launch Warner Horizon Unscripted Television’s new documentary series unit.”
Berlanti and Parsons will be executive producing through their production companies, Berlanti Productions and That’s Wonderful Productions. Both the producers have their own overall deals with Warner Brothers TV.
“In June, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which shepherded in a new era for LGBTQ+ pride. While we know the story behind that fateful summer night, there’s a lot of fascinating, untold history of the patriots, artists, and thinkers who paved the way,” said Jennifer O’Connell, executive vp nonfiction at HBO Max. “It’s time to share their heroic tales, and we could not have more perfect partners in Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti, Jon Jashni and Scout to introduce our HBO Max audience to these historical trailblazers.”
The forthcoming series will profile Harry Hay, a gay rights activist and the founder of the modern gay movement; the Daughter of Bilitis, a lesbian civil and political rights organization; Christine Jorgensen, a transgender woman who flew to Europe in 1951 to undergo sex reassignment surgery and publicly transitioned; and gay rights and African American rights leader Bayard Rustin. The show will follow the Stonewall Riots and the first Pride as well.
Executive producers Berlanti and Parsons will be joined by Scout Productions’ David Collins (Queer Eye), Michael Williams (The Fog of War), Rob Eric (Queer Eye) and Joel Chiodi. Sarah Schechter (Black Lightning, The Flash) from Berlanti Productions and Parsons’ husband, Todd Spiewak (Special), will also executive produce the series.