USA Network will launch its second annual Characters Unite Month with original programming, public service announcements and new digital content supporting its ongoing effort to promote greater tolerance, respect and acceptance for others.
"Characters Unite Month is a time to put a much-needed spotlight on the importance of fighting hate and discrimination," said Chris McCumber, USA co-president in a statement. "Huge problems such as bullying, racism, religious intolerance and other forms of discrimination can seem insurmountable. We want to let everyone, everywhere, know that they can make a difference, just simply by speaking up and saying I won't stand for it anymore."
Among the initiatives developed for Characters Unite Month include a series of anti-discrimination public service announcements featuring USA Network series stars Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle (Suits); Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs); Reshma Shetty (Royal Pains) and Marsha Thomason (White Collar), as well as short films to air online revealing personal experiences of prejudice and bigotry from network stars.
Also, episodes of White Collar and Royal Pains will feature a Characters Unite storyline, said network officials. The network added that custom on-air bug and multiple snipes airing on the network throughout the month will hopefully drive viewers to the charactersunite.com site and encourage them to get involved.
In addition, USA will air on Feb. 10 a one-hour documentary profiling several NFL stars sharing their personal stories of overcoming prejudice and discrimination and their efforts to help to transform the life of a teen currently dealing with a similar situation, according to network officials. During Super Bowl weekend, USA, the NFL and The Hochberg Ebersol Company will also co-host a special brunch in Indianapolis to highlight the documentary and the partnership to fight intolerance and hate.
Online, USA will offer a newly re-designed, more interactive charactersunite.com site with extensive information, resources and video content.
The network will also partner with distributors to launch the Characters Unite Awards to honor extraordinary individuals who have made significant efforts to champion civil and human rights in their communities.
Also this month the network will team up with non-profit company The Moth and Time Warner Cable to offer its ninth Characters Unite storytelling tour event. The Los Angeles-based event includes five storytellers who will discuss their experiences in overcoming discrimination, as well as a local high school program which features the discrimination and bullying experiences of 10 high school students, the network said.
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