Jesse Williams and John Legend producing documentary ‘With Drawn Arms’ on iconic 1968 Olympic protest


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Jesse Williams and John Legend are producing a documentary on the iconic 1968 Olympic protest.

Titled With Drawn Arms, it will specifically focus on Olympic gold medalist and former NFL wider receiver, Tommie Smith.

Williams and Legends will executive produce with Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius, partners with him in his Get Lifted Film Co.

During the ’68 games, Smith and Olympic bronze medalist and Olympic Project for Human Rights member John Carlos raised their firsts, fit with black gloves, to protest racial injustices during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. 

The duo was subsequently suspended from the American team and had to leave the Olympics. Smith later played for the Cincinnati Bengals and taught in Ohio and at Santa Monica College.

“Tommie Smith is more than an iconic poster or risky act of defiance that inspires people the world over. He is a living man, whose incredible journey is worthy of examination,” the actor added. “I couldn’t be more excited to join forces with this team of filmmakers, to share his reality and challenge our notions of heroism in the process,” said Williams.

“We are excited to collaborate with true artists in Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi to bring this powerful story to the world in a fresh and compelling way. In this current climate we are once again being charged to stand up to bigotry, fear, and hate. We are inspired by this story and honored to be a creative partner on this film,” said Legend.

The film is currently in production, and they are hoping for an October 16, 2018 release for the 50th anniversary of the protest.

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I'm a Society & Culture blogger, Writer, PR /Journalism student at MMUST. Public awareness is an essential ingredient for national mobilization. In that regard, it is my social obligation to support society's efforts in dealing with national disasters like unemployment, terrorism, drought and famine, deforestation and habitat loss, and other forms of humanitarian crises. I'm using my blog as a platform to effect social change.