Court TV and ACLU Raise Awareness of Civil Rights with New Series, The ACLU Freedom Files

February 9, 2006 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — In an unprecedented programming and public affairs initiative, Court TV and the American Civil Liberties Union are joining together to bring critical civil rights issues to a wider audience with The ACLU Freedom Files, a series of ten 30-minute episodes that strips away the sound bites to reveal how civil liberties affect us all, every day.

Created by award-winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald and produced and directed by Jeremy Kagan, The ACLU Freedom Files joins the roster of Court TV issue-related programming under the “In Pursuit of Justice” umbrella beginning Saturday, February 11 at 12 noon ET/PT. Combining original on-air specials, public affairs programs, civic partnerships and educational resources, “In Pursuit of Justice” seeks to engage the public in open discourse on controversial subjects explored by the network.

Focusing on issues including religious freedom, women’s rights, gay and lesbian rights and racial profiling, The ACLU Freedom Files will feature real clients and the attorneys who represent them, as well as well-known actors, activists and comedians, including Richard Belzer, Lewis Black, LeVar Burton, Margaret Cho, John Fugelsang, Judy Gold, Warren Hutcherson, Christine Lahti, Wendie Malick, Harry Shearer and Noah Wyle. Utilizing what Greenwald refers to as “moving media,” the dynamic series uses interviews, documentary, comedy, drama, music and animation to directly engage and alert viewers to the importance of the issues currently facing the American public.

“Court TV is committed to using its diverse resources to encourage more informed dialogue among those who could change and improve our society,” said Henry Schleiff, Chairman & CEO of Court TV. “We strive to bring important and cause-related programming to our viewers, and this series is a natural addition to our line-up, as it raises awareness on the pressing and controversial issues facing our nation. ‘In Pursuit of Justice’ is our initiative that nurtures debate and raises awareness for important judicial and social issues, and The ACLU Freedom Files not only shares that same goal but it brings the issues to life.”

The collaboration with Court TV brings The ACLU Freedom Files to an even larger audience nationwide. “The ACLU works tirelessly in the courts and in legislatures across America to preserve our civil liberties, but we cannot do it alone,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “With our series now on Court TV, we can engage communities and foster thoughtful debate on some of the most critical civil rights issues of our day.”

Greenwald added, “Issues like free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from unreasonable searches are often talked about in abstract terms, but there are very real human faces to these issues and they tend to get lost in the rhetoric. This series is going to tell those stories.”

The series premiered on Link TV, the Peabody award-winning satellite television channel dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture. The ACLU Freedom Files will also be broadcast on Zilo TV, the college television network that provides programming to more than 5.5 million college students across the country.

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