Screenwriter Ron Nyswaner Issues Apology for 'Freeheld' Comments

Ron Nyswaner - H 2015
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The veteran writer, nominated for an Oscar for his work on 1993's 'Philadelphia,' takes responsibility for his comments, which he says are "inaccurate and unfair."

Ron Nyswaner has apologized to his Freeheld colleagues for statements he made over the weekend while accepting an award at the Los Angeles LGBT Center's 46th anniversary gala Vanguard Awards.

During his speech, Nyswaner insinuated that the Peter Sollett-directed film had been softened from his original script, featuring "Lesbians with a lower-case 'l.' " The Lionsgate release stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in the true life tale of a woman fighting to give her pension benefits to her partner. 

Nyswaner issued a statement to THR, clarifying the full range of comments he made from the podium, calling his own words "inaccurate and unfair." His earlier remarks can be found here

His full statement reads: "At last week’s Vanguard Awards Gala, in the glare of the spotlight and the excitement of the moment, I made some remarks that need to be corrected and explained. In a speech that was meant to be a reflection on internalized gay-shame and self-censorship, I denigrated the courage and integrity of my colleagues on the movie Freeheld. These comments were inaccurate and unfair. The producers never suggested that the characters should be anything but thoroughly and proudly gay. We disagreed over the amount of conflict that should be present in their relationship; I won some arguments and lost others. The movie is satisfying and beautiful in many ways, particularly in the performances of the leads. The script that made it to the screen is weaker than it ought to have been and for that I must accept responsibility. I apologize to my colleagues for the pain my comments have caused."

The Vanguard Awards — held Nov. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza — also honored Jane Fonda and Miley Cyrus and featured appearances by Lily Tomlin, Frances McDormand and Linda Perry.