6:00am PT by Philiana Ng
USA Reveals Plans for Characters Unite Month (Exclusive Video)
USA Network has unveiled its plans for its third Characters Unite month, which kicks off Friday.
In addition to airing the second NFL Characters Unite documentary, featuring professional NFL players and their personal stories airing Feb. 8, the cable network will air specially themed episodes of two scripted dramas.
In a multi-episode arc, Necessary Roughness will follow a star member of the New York Hawks football team who reveals he is gay and faces intense scrutiny from his coaches, teammates and the media. Meanwhile, on Suits, the sophomore legal drama will see Pearson Hardman fighting a gender-discrimination class-action suit, revealing prejudices that impact women in the workplace.
"Characters Unite month is growing exponentially this year, because there is still an immense need in this country for greater tolerance, respect and acceptance,” said Toby Graff, USA’s senior vp public affairs. “We’re extremely proud to increase awareness and inspire action to address all forms of discrimination, whether it’s based on a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or ability.”
Public service announcements, as part of an "I Won't Stand For" campaign including USA stars Matt Bomer, Peter Gallagher, Dule Hill, Sarah Rafferty and Gina Torres, will follow episodes of Necessary Roughness and Suits. The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive first look at Bomer's PSA on bullying. (Watch above.)
Starting with Super Bowl weekend, an "I Won't Stand For" bus tour will make stops across the U.S. beginning in New Orleans. Hill, star of Psych, will participate in the Chicago stop.
Beginning Feb. 23, USA will air a commercial-free broadcast of Schindler's List. Additionally, Characters Unite Awards will honor individuals who have made a difference in their communities.
This is the second straight year Characters Unite month takes place in February.