June 19, 2014 2:34pm PT by Philiana Ng
Bill Clinton to Introduce USA's Broadcast of 'Philadelphia' (Exclusive)
Former President Bill Clinton is set to introduce USA Network's broadcast of Philadelphia as part of its Characters Unite film series, The Hollywood Reporter learns. It will air Saturday, June 21, at 7 p.m. ET/PT in celebration of Pride Month and National HIV Testing Day.
Philadelphia follows Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), a gay lawyer suffering from AIDS who is fired from his law firm due to his medical condition. In an effort to right this wrong, Beckett hires homophobic lawyer Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit. It was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to focus on AIDS, homosexuality and homophobia, winning two Academy Awards, including one for Hanks in the best actor category.
Philadelphia marks the sixth film in the Characters Unite film series, which launched in April 2012 with To Kill a Mockingbird, then introduced by President Barack Obama. Other films that have been featured as part of the series are The Color Purple, Milk, In the Heat of the Night and Schindler's List. The Characters Unite film series aims to spotlight powerful stories that promote tolerance and acceptance.
"Through the Characters Unite film series, we are continuing to showcase critically acclaimed films like Philadelphia, which shed light on our past and inspire us to carry on the fight against social injustice, intolerance and discrimination," said Bonnie Hammer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment chairman. "We are honored to have President Clinton introduce this film. Both he and his foundation have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to help turn the tide against HIV and AIDS. We hope this special presentation fosters greater dialogue and progress during Pride Month and beyond."