The Showtime announced Wednesday that it will debut L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, a documentary from series creator Ilene Chaiken, in August. The L Word Mississippi will be a 90-minute documentary that unites Chaiken with Real L Word executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz’s Magical Elves.
Directed by Emmy nominee Lauren Lazin, the new show will explore the daily struggles of a group of Southern lesbians. Chaiken and the Elves will visit Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community; a white mother who would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man; a couple who grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning; and a former life-long lesbian who struggles to “pray the gay away” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.
After The Real L Word was canceled last year, Showtime said they weren’t completely done with the L Word brand and that, instead, they’d put together a documentary about identifying as lesbian in a small town community.
“I’ve been talking a lot with Dan, Jane and Ilene about exploring L Word culture – lesbian culture in places not New York, L.A. – where the subculture is not so defined and it’s not so easy. I think we’re likely to make a documentary that will feel like a Real L Word documentary,”
David Nevins, Showtime Entertainment President
L Word Mississippi will premiere Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. The news comes a day after Showtime announced it would air the entire series runs of Queer as Folk and The L Word to celebrate Gay Pride Month in June. Chaiken, meanwhile, will segue from showrunning ABC’s The Black Box to Fox’s hip-hop drama Empire.
From a press release:
What is life like for lesbians living outside more progressive metropolitan areas in America today where gay women endure hardships, bigotry, bullying, sexism and racism while trying to live among their predominantly straight neighbors? Chaiken and the Elves journey deep into Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen such women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church, but who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community. A white mother would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man. A couple grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning. And a former life-long lesbian struggles to “pray the gay away,” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.
…Against the backdrop of the burgeoning gender and marriage equality debate, L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN spotlights those loving, living, working, parenting and forcing change from within places where entrenched, conservative values have resisted the progress the LGBTQ community has worked hard to achieve elsewhere.