Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Gayle King and Brad Pitt will host a one-hour primetime special honoring the late civil rights leader John Lewis.
John Lewis: Celebrating A Hero airs Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 10:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. The special will also be telecast at a later date on ViacomCBS brands BET, MTV and Smithsonian, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The special will feature musical performances, newsmaker interviews, and conversations.
Lewis, a civil rights icon who helped organize the 1963 march on Washington, D.C., and served in Congress for decades, died July 17 after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 80.
The special will examine Lewis’ life, his work, and the principles that guided him. The special will feature performances by Yolanda Adams, Jon Batiste, Common, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Trevor Noah, Billy Porter and Wynonna.
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“John Lewis was an extraordinary man,” said Winfrey. “A man of great vision who lived a life with the purpose of making sure America lived out its ideals.”
“This is a celebration of the ‘boy from Troy,’” said Perry. “A forefather of the civil rights movement, who would live to see his contributions for equality result in witnessing the swearing in of the first Black United States president.”
“His commitment to the cause was unwavering, his sacrifices immeasurable,” said King. “And he should forever be remembered in the ‘pantheon of patriots.’”
“Congressman Lewis was one of the most prominent and forceful voices for change in this country. Losing that voice now is so difficult as the country confronts structural racism. But John Lewis gave us the will and the way to continue his work,” said Susan Zirinsky, president and senior executive producer of CBS News. “This special reminds us the journey will not be easy, and there’s no turning back.”
“Representative John Lewis exemplifies a civil rights leader who never gave up and served as an inspiration to multiple generations of Americans,” said Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment. “This special will celebrate with inspiring words and heartfelt music the many contributions of a man who lived his life selflessly and will always be remembered as a beacon of courage, honor and hope.”
John Lewis: Celebrating A Hero is produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment in association with CBS News. Jesse Collins, Dionne Harmon, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Susan Zirinsky, Jack Sussman and Kim Godwin are executive producers. For CBS News, Alvin Patrick, Judy Tygard and Mitch Weitzner are executive producers.
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