George Takei to narrate documentary on America’s persecution of gays
George Takei and Matt Bomer are to provide narration a new documentary that uncovers the historic persecution of gay people by the US government.
The film Uniquely Nasty, which will air online as part of Yahoo’s Viewfinder series, looks at systematic oppression that people faced for decades over their sexuality.
It will reveal “never-before-seen” government memos from FBI director J Edgar Hoover (read by George Takei), and Civil Service lawyer John Steele (read by Matt Bomer) – in which the pair assert that gays are not suitable for federal employment.
The film will primarily focus focus on the journey of Charles Francis – a former close friend and proponent of George W Bush, who fell out with him over same-sex marriage.
As leader of the group known as the Austin 12, Mr Francis attempted to reconcile his party with the gay rights movement, despite its anti-gay stance – before eventually conceding failure.
Yahoo’s chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff told Out: “It set Francis off on a mission to uncover ‘the deleted history’ of the persecution of gays and lesbians by the US government, and he has turned up some amazing documents about the FBI’s “sex deviates” program and other matters that we’ll be showing for the first time in the film.
He continued: “I don’t think most people fully realize (I certainly didn’t) the extent to which gays were targeted by the US government over the years: hundreds of thousands of files collected on individuals solely because of their sexual preference.
“For me, the most memorable part of this was tracking down 87-year-old Lester Hunt Jr, son of the late U.S. Senator Lester Hunt.
“It was the son’s arrest for soliciting gay sex in Lafayette Park that was used by allies of Joe McCarthy to blackmail his father — a plot that drove Senator Hunt to commit suicide, and became the inspiration for the blackmail plot in Advise and Consent.
“Lester Hunt Jr talks on camera for the first time and tells the story.”