The film, starring Sean Penn in his Oscar-winning performance as Milk, is to air with limited commercial interruptions June 1, the first day of Gay Pride Month, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group Chairman Bonnie Hammer said Thursday.
The screening is part of USA Network's "Characters Unite Quarterly Film Series," which organizers said is dedicated to using "the power of great storytelling to increase awareness of social injustices, stimulate productive dialogue and encourage further progress."
"This film series has allowed us to present to audiences some of the most courageous characters of our time. Harvey Milk gave hope to generations of gay and lesbian Americans by encouraging them to live their lives openly and to speak out against the discrimination and prejudice they faced," Hammer said in a statement. "We are honored to share his story in commemoration of Gay Pride Month."
Milk was elected in 1977 to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in California. Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by politician Dan White the following year. White served five years in prison and committed suicide two years after he was released.