Endemol Shine North America-backed production house Authentic Entertainment has teamed with a trio of acclaimed Hollywood producers to develop the docuseries The Mystery of the 1957 Gay Wedding Photos.
The unscripted series will explore recently surfaced images of a 1950′s gay wedding, which are among the first to document a gay wedding. The project will be developed and produced by writer and producer Neal Baer (ER, Law & Order: SVU), P.J. Palmer (Anyone But Me) and Los Angeles-based writer Michael J. Wolfe.
Printed circa 1957 at a neighborhood drugstore in North Philadelphia, the images captures the special moments between two men as they wed, including an exchange of rings in front of witnesses, an officiant leading the ceremony, and the first kiss. The drugstore’s owner allegedly deemed the photos inappropriate and refused to return them to the newly wedded couple. Some 60 years later, the search for answers as to who the men are and other details surrounding the event remain.
The Mystery of the 1957 Gay Wedding Photos series will follow Baer, Palmer and Wolfe as they search for new clues and look to unearth the mysterious couple behind the wedding.
The trio of producers will work hand-in-hand with the teams at ONE Archives Foundation in LA, and the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia, which currently house the images.
The Mystery of the 1957 Gay Wedding Photos will join Authentic’s non-scripted programming slate that currently includes Discovery Channel’s Trading Spaces, Bravo’s Flipping Out, and the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
“The mystery of this love affair, and the detective story to find these men, is the perfect combination of personal narrative and hidden history,” Authentic Entertainment president Helga Eike said in a statement. “We are honored that Neal, Michael and P.J. have asked us to join them on this epic journey. These photos are so powerful; they are a snapshot of an otherwise lost time and place.”
“We are drawn to stories of bravery, where these men lived out their lives under threat of danger or actual harm,” added Baer. “We owe them our deepest gratitude because they did something no one else had done before them: they recorded their love for themselves and for posterity. Now 60 years later, we have the photos, but there’s a painful gap between the past and the present. How did these pioneers live their lives as a couple? What barriers did two men married in the ’50s, when the legal repercussions were severe, face? What drove them to take the bold chance to develop these photos when sodomy laws prohibited gay sexual relationships? Their legacy empowers us today and we are setting off to find these men and their stories. Along the way, other heroes have appeared, whose stories have never been told. So, this is a treasure hunt for our past that emboldens our future.”