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Freeheld writer implies film was ‘de-gayed’ by producers

Michelle O'Toole November 10, 2015

Screenwriter Ron Nyswaner has claimed that one of his “recent gay-themed projects” had been ‘de-gayed’ by producers.

Nyswaner made the claim during a speech at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Awards last saturday, after being awarded the Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement Award.

Originally reported in the Advocate, he told the audience “One of my recent gay-themed projects had a lot of potential. But the producers became fearful,

“And the gay characters were idealized, their edges were smoothed out, the conflict between them was softened.

“Over my vigorous objections — by the way, that’s for the record — the main characters were turned into lesbians with a lower-case L,

“Because God forbid someone would think we were making a movie about a couple of dykes! Out of fear, they were normalized!”

During the speech he did not directly reference Freeheld, starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore.

But Freeheld is based on the true story of a New Jersey police officer’s battle while terminally ill to make sure her partner receives survivor pension benefits.

It is the only project Nyswaner has worked on to feature lesbian main characters, and his next project is based on the nonfiction book ‘The First Man-Made Man’ which tells the story of two transgender people falling in love in the 1920’s.

Freeheld has only achieved a 50% on review aggregator site Metacritic.

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