The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't TellNETWORK SITE

1×80 – HBO – Premiered September 20, 2011

September 2011, at the moment the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) went into effect, HBO will told the strange-but-true tale of the U.S. military’s ban on gays and lesbians from its implementation, through passionate protests and debates, and finally to its 2011 repeal. A timely and historical look at the legacy of gays and lesbians in the military, THE STRANGE HISTORY OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL illustrates the tumultuous evolution of the controversial policy that fostered hate and intolerance within the military – and undermined the very freedoms American forces defend – by forcing many soldiers to lie and live in secrecy.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton encountered vehement opposition when he tried to deliver on his election promise of lifting a 50-year ban on gays in the military.  The result was the compromise legislation Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which allowed gays to serve in the military provided they didn’t disclose their sexual orientation.  THE STRANGE HISTORY OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL examines the consequences of the policy and the fight to overturn it, a battle that would last 17 years, span three presidencies and result in the discharge of 13,368 active service members.

Filmed during the final 15 months of the law, THE STRANGE HISTORY OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL interweaves archival news footage and interviews with key players, from policy experts to Pentagon personnel, as well as personal accounts by a number of actively serving gay soldiers (obscured from the camera because speaking about their sexual orientation violates Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).  Among the featured subjects are:  Mass. Rep. Barney Frank; Ct. Sen. Joe Lieberman; former Pa. Rep Patrick Murphy, an Iraqi war veteran who played a leading role in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal; Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach; Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer; Jeh C. Johnson, general counsel of the Department of Defense; and Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).

Filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have produced a variety of acclaimed nonfiction programming, including 24 documentaries for HBO and CINEMAX, among them “Heidi Fleiss:  The Would-Be Madam of Crystal,” “Monica in Black and White,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and, most recently, the Emmy®-nominated “Wishful Drinking.”

THE STRANGE HISTORY OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL is produced and directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato; supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; executive producer, Sheila Nevins; producers, Gabriel Rotello and Mona Card; editors, Langdon F. Page, Chris Conway; music by David Benjamin Steinberg.

Randy and Fenton on Bring Your Own Doc

Video thumbnail for youtube video Randy and Fenton on <i>Bring Your Own Doc</i> - World of Wonder

If you missed the live feed of Randy and Fenton on Bring Your Own Doc yesterday, you can watch the whole thing here and now! They sit down with Ondi Timoner and talk about Party Monster, Becoming Chaz, In Vogue: The Editors Eye, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and last but not least, they discuss The World According To Wonder! (Available on Amazon *wink*) ... See the Rest

Out & About: The World According to Wonder Party
in Washington DC


RIGHT NOW at the Real Screen Convention in Washington DC, Passion Distribution is co-hosting a fabulous champagne party to celebrate the publication of WOW's first book! Special guest Lady Bunny will be reading a passage from the book to the TV executives in attendance. iPhotos of Kristen Kelly of VH1, Lee Horvitz of CAA, Sally and Emma from ... See the Rest

And The Nominees Are …

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We woke up to the great news that WOW is nominated for three GLAAD awards. Becoming Chaz and The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell were both nominated for Outstanding Documentary. Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys was nominated for Outstanding Reality Program. Congratulations are in order to everyone at WOW. ... See the Rest

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Screening Tonight in Palm Springs!


If you happen to be in Palm Springs tonight, perhaps for Pride Weekend, make sure to check out a free special screening of The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell by our friends at the Ace Hotel. Also be sure to stay around for a special Q&A with WOW's own Fenton Bailey! ... See the Rest

WOW’s DADT Doc Airs Tonight at Midnight on HBO

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From today's Huffington Post: "Directed by Emmy winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the HBO documentary illustrates the tumultuous evolution of the DADT legislation -- from the military's ban of homosexuals during World War II, to Bill Clinton's ambitious promise to lift the ban as a young presidential candidate in 1992 and the eventual ... See the Rest

Everybody’s Talking ‘Bout


The rave reviews keep coming for World of Wonder's documentary The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. See what Variety, After Elton, and the San Francisco Chronicle have to say. Catch a sneak preview tonight at midnight on HBO. ... See the Rest

HBO’s Screening of The Strange History of DADT

Strange History of DADT - Mike Almy

I attended the special screening of The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell at the HBO theater in NYC today. Both Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey were there, as well as several other activists and soldiers who appeared in the film, such as Aubrey Sarvis of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and gay soldiers, Mike Almy and Victor Fehrenbach. ... See the Rest

Start Spreading the News

Video thumbnail for youtube video Start Spreading the News - World of Wonder On Tuesday, September 20, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell goes into effect and HBO will be airing the premiere of the World of Wonder-produced documentary, The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. You can catch a sneak preview on Monday, September 19, at midnight. Read what the San Francisco ... See the Rest

Review: The Strange History Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Wayne Army Training small

I was quite flattered that Randy and Fenton had ask that I be one of the first to preview their new documentary film, The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which will air on HBO September 20th. To be honest, I had some substantial trepidation about WOW’s production of this documentary. As a gay veteran of the Armed Forces who sadly has ... See the Rest