The Announcement
February 20, 2012 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Mr. George said in a telephone interview that his goal for “The Announcement” was not only to tell the inside story of Mr. Johnson’s personal deliberations but also to “make people aware this thing hasn’t disappeared.” He added: “People are still dying of the virus. People are living very tough lives because of it. It’s falling off the national agenda, I believe, and this in some way helps us reintroduce it.”*
On March 11, 2012 at 9pm Eastern, ESPN will air the documentary The Announcement, about Magic Johnson's diagnosis with HIV and his decision to go public with his diagnosis. The film is directed by Nelson George, a award-winning author and noted filmmaker whose sister is Andrea Williams, an HIV+ activist for AIDS causes in Brooklyn (and who inspired George's HBO movie Life Support, which won Queen Latifah several awards for her role as a fictionalized version of Williams).
posted by hippybear (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, I remember when that happened. That was stunning. I want to see this. Thanks for the heads up!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:09 PM on February 20, 2012

Sure beats The Decision.
posted by Melismata at 6:24 PM on February 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

If the quality of previous ESPN films proves to be any indication, this should be excellent.

This was definitely a "you remember exactly where you were the moment you heard" event (I was in my freshman year English class and a fellow student broke the news to the rest of the class. I kept waiting for the punchline).
posted by The Gooch at 6:36 PM on February 20, 2012

Drat, Melismata beat me to it.
posted by Drumhellz at 6:58 PM on February 20, 2012

I love the work ESPN Films has done so far, and this looks like it could be their best stuff yet.

DVR: set.
posted by sc114 at 7:12 PM on February 20, 2012

It's long been widely known that his comments about his sexuality are a lie. Wonder if they'll address that.
posted by ambient2 at 7:47 PM on February 20, 2012

Can't wait to see this. No matter his sexuality, he never turned his back on gay people. His charity serves poor people with HIV in San Francisco and other cities.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:09 PM on February 20, 2012

It's long been widely known that his comments about his sexuality are a lie. Wonder if they'll address that.

Yes, because that negates any other good thing he's done with his life.
posted by blucevalo at 8:16 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wonder if they'll address that.

I dunno about that. The ambiguousness surrounding Johnson's sexuality, I think, did a lot to spread the message that HIV wasn't just a thing gay men and heroin users had to be concerned about - which was very much the case in the early 1980s.

I remember when Rock Hudson died of AIDS the reaction was more focused on his sexuality (OMG Rock Hudson's gay!) and that seemed to reinforce the concept of HIV as a gay disease and something "attained" (to use Magic Johnson's word) by "bad" behavior.

Also, I think a focus on Johnson's Johnson would derail the discussion about HIV to a discussion of homophobia in professional sports, particularly the NBA, and this too would be unfortunate.

Best wishes to Magic. He was a hell of a player and he has handled his situation with as much grace and dignity as he showed on the court. I hope he lives to be well over 100.
posted by three blind mice at 8:22 PM on February 20, 2012

I remember when Magic made the announcement. I was just completely blown away. I was heading to class at college and I sat in the car, just emotionally obliterated. Then I went to class and told my friends and the other people sitting there. No one believed me at first. And then the entire room went quiet. People were in shock. And these were Canadians. We weren't basketball fans or part of the American NBA marketing machine.

When Rock Hudson died, I felt like the world changed. It was just as I was heading into the world of dating and my entire sex education was influenced by that event. But Magic Johnson announced he had HIV when I started college and suddenly this was something that anyone could get. It was scary as heck.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 9:49 PM on February 20, 2012

Does anyone have any evidence for Magic Johnson being gay? Google just turns up mostly opinion pieces.
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 10:30 PM on February 20, 2012

Evidence: 1. He and everyone he's ever known says he was absurdly hetero.
2. You don't have to be gay to get HIV.
3. What else do you need?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:07 AM on February 21, 2012

I think the whole 'gay' thing comes from the fact that it's very difficult to get HIV from hetero sex. Therefore, it's more likely that he got it from gay sex.

Doesn't mean it's the truth.
posted by Phreesh at 7:05 AM on February 21, 2012

Just got finished watching this. Absolutely fantastic, fantastic film. Highly recommended.
posted by The Gooch at 8:26 PM on March 11, 2012

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