Press Releases: 06/07/11

CNN (1), MSNBC (1)


In a special three-part series, Anderson Cooper 360° examines a shocking “experimental therapy” designed to make feminine boys more masculine. Tune in tonight to see what one family says was the devastating result in a special report titled “The Sissy Boy Experiment.” The series, with additional reporting from, begins airing tonight at 10pm ET on CNN with special features found on

His doctors called him “Kraig.” His parents were afraid he was too effeminate and might grow up to be gay. So, at age 4, Kraig was enrolled in a government-funded program at UCLA dubbed “The Feminine Boy Project” where Kraig was plunged into a series of experiments using aggressive aversion therapy. The behaviors judged effeminate were beat out of him—literally and figuratively—and Kraig’s case was judged a success. A success until, at age 38, this “poster child” for changing gender identity disorder was so depressed and disturbed he committed suicide.

In this heartbreaking series, Anderson Cooper speaks with Kraig’s family who blame the therapy for his suicide and will look into the man behind the therapy – Dr. George Rekers – who was later caught up in scandal after hiring a male escort.





NEW YORK, NY—JUNE 7, 2011—MSNBC will premiere its latest documentary, “Erasing Hate,” an unforgettable true story of transformation and redemption hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell, on Sunday, June 26 at 9 PM ET. “Erasing Hate” chronicles Bryon Widner’s 16 years in a major skinhead organization, where he was known as a heavy drinker and a ‘pit bull’ – the enforcer who would turn extremely violent at the drop of a hat. While most skinheads are known for brandishing tattoos, Bryon’s head-to-toe ink made his appearance especially menacing.

After years of extreme violence against minorities in the name of the white race, Bryon’s life changed forever when he became a husband and father in 2006. He and his wife Julie shared a common bond – both were becoming disenchanted with what they saw as hypocrisy in the skinhead culture. They knew that they couldn’t raise their family within the white power movement, but getting out wasn’t easy. As Bryon puts it, “that’s the skinhead philosophy; the retirement program is either prison or the grave.” Amidst endless harassment and death threats toward themselves and their family, Bryon and Julie fled from Michigan to Tennessee in search of a new life.

But the Widners quickly learned that moving on isn’t just about location. Bryon’s racist tattoos were a constant reminder of his haunting, violent past, and he found it nearly impossible to support his family. With financial aid from the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2009, Widner made the life-changing decision to embark on an extensive and excruciating 20-month laser removal process at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Erasing Hate” producers spent nearly two years chronicling Bryon’s incredibly painful tattoo removal treatment—a penance of sorts for the hurt he had caused to so many others in his past.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell hosts “Erasing Hate,” Sunday, June 26, 9 PM ET.

“Erasing Hate” is produced, written and directed by Bill Brummel, Bill Brummel Productions. Dan Wolfmeyer is Editor, and Kevin O’Brien and John Rhode are Directors of Photography. Michael Rubin is Vice President, Long Form Programming, MSNBC. Scott Hooker is Senior Executive Producer, Documentary Production and Development, MSNBC. Vicki Sufian is Senior Producer, Long Form Programming, MSNBC.

MSNBC’s award-winning documentary unit combines compelling storytelling with exclusive access to some of the most intriguing and rarely seen places and people in the world, allowing viewers to become eyewitnesses. Building on the world-class newsgathering and talent of MSNBC and NBC News, the MSNBC documentary unit takes audiences undercover to investigate in-depth some of the most important stories of our time. Drawing on partnerships with accomplished producers and acclaimed filmmakers, MSNBC presents powerful documentaries and also showcases unique features under the MSNBC Films umbrella.

Bryon and Julie Widner are available for interviews. Also available are Joe Roy of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Bill Brummel of Bill Brummel Productions.

Links to a variety of clips from the show are available to view/embed below:

Bryon grew up with his alcoholic grandparents in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a teen, Bryon ran away and began living on the streets. He explains how his lack of family and security led him to join the skinhead movement – a place where he finally found a sense of acceptance.

Bryon Widner first joined the skinhead movement as a young teen. He explains the skinhead movement’s racial philosophy, and their insatiable taste for violence and bloodshed.

Bryon describes the first tattoo he ever got – also the first one to be removed: “I got the HATE tattooed across my knuckles when I was about 15. I always liked the word hate. I thought it was real cool at the time.”

One Response to “Press Releases: 06/07/11”

  1. To bad there wasn’t a program to beat the h*mophobia out of parents who suffer under the delusion there is something wrong with being g*y.

    Like most so called cures for the g*y this one is promoted by a closeted h*mosexual.

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