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GLAAD Media Award Winner 'Prayers for Bobby' to Re-Air on Lifetime this Saturday

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By GLAAD |
January 21, 2011

Actress Sigourney Weaver attends the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York

The 2009 Lifetime TV movie ‘Prayers for Bobby,’ starring Sigourney Weaver, tells the poignant true story of Mary Griffith’s rejection of her son’s coming out as gay, and her decision to join the fight for LGBT equality after his suicide. ‘Prayers for Bobby’ went on to win for Outstanding Television Movie or Mini-Series at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, and garnered numerous other nominations and awards, including two Primetime Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nomination.

On December 14, 2010, ‘Prayers for Bobby’ was released on DVD by A&E Home Entertainment. Its bonus features include Sigourney Weaver’s acceptance speech at the GLAAD Media Awards which you can see below.

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This weekend, viewers will also get a second chance to see this powerful film on the Lifetime Movie Network. ‘Prayers for Bobby’ will re-air on Lifetime on Saturday, January 22 at 4 PM.

(To buy your copy of ‘Prayers for Bobby’, click here.)

GLAAD spoke to Executive Producer Daniel Sladek, who will appear on a cineGLAAD panel this year at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and Mary Griffith to discuss Prayers for Bobby and its impact:

GLAAD: What has been the Griffith family’s experience throughout the making and release of Prayers for Bobby?

Bobby’s mother, Mary Griffith: This experience has been truly inspirational... from the beginning to the end. I never realized so many people could find comfort and peace of mind from watching ‘Prayers for Bobby.’ I'm glad we all stayed true to the course we started out on, thanks to my producers Daniel Sladek, Chris Taaffe and David Permut and the entire team that made ‘Prayers for Bobby’ possible.

GLAAD: How did you decide to produce this film?

Daniel Sladek: My partner Chris Taaffe picked up a copy of the then just-published book Prayers for Bobby by author Leroy Aarons (founding president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association) at A Different Light Bookstore in West Hollywood.  We were both deeply moved by Mary Griffith's story and pursued the rights.  Lucky for us, Mary and Leroy said yes.  We then teamed with producer David Permut and began a decade plus journey to get Prayers to the screen.

GLAAD: What was Sigourney Weaver's reaction when she read the script and her involvement throughout

DS: Sigourney was profoundly moved by Mary's story and immediately jumped onboard.  Ultimately, Sigourney is the reason PFB got made.  Her enthusiasm and dedication to not only the movie but also the fight for equality left us in awe.  We could not have asked for a better actress and activist than Sigourney to represent "Prayers."

GLAAD: What kind of reactions or feedback have you received from viewers?

DS: Stunning reactions.  Thousands of emails have arrived at www.prayersforbobby.com with people sharing their own stories after viewing the film.  We're thrilled the DVD is finally available so that people can pass it along to their friends and family.

GLAAD: What would you hope for viewers to learn from this film?

DS: Mary Griffith will be the first to tell you that it was her own fear and ignorance that lead her to believe she could "cure" Bobby, which ultimately lead to Bobby killing himself.  My hope is that the film leaves viewers with the message that gay kids are perfect just the way God made them.

GLAAD: What has been the Griffith family’s experience throughout the making and release of Prayers for Bobby?

DS: The Griffith family are such special people.  They put their trust in us to make a very personal film about a time in their lives that as you can imagine, is incredibly painful for them.  We could not have asked for a kinder, loving family than the Griffiths.  Bobby would be incredibly proud of them.

GLAAD: How do you hope the DVD release and re-airing of Prayers for Bobby will contribute to the current dialogue on LGBT rights?

DS: Although the Griffith's story takes place in the early 1980's, society is still dealing with the same issues of ignorance and fear.  Gay teen suicide has been in the news a lot lately but the story of gay teens killing themselves is nothing new.  Our hope was that Prayers for Bobby would help to open hearts and minds.  Our goal was always that this DVD would be passed along when people who are gay or their family members were having trouble with the coming out process.

GLAAD: What special features can we expect from the DVD?

DS: Interviews with the executive producers, Sigourney Weaver and other cast members.  Meet the real Mary Griffith.  New PSA's from Sigourney (for PFLAG) and Daniel Radcliffe (for The Trevor Project).  Also a "Road to the GLAAD Awards" presentation.

GLAAD: What was your reaction to receiving the GLAAD Media Award last year?

DS: Winning the 2010 GLAAD Award was the culmination of our Prayers for Bobby experience.  It followed our 2009 Emmy Award nomination and our 2010 Producers Guild nomination for the film.  Accepting the award standing alongside Sigourney Weaver, all of us having shared in such a profound experience, was a memory that I will treasure.