MSNBC Presents ‘Erasing Hate,’ The True Story Of A Skinhead’s Redemption

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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June 7th, 2011

via press release:



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.

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