Jean Smart’s SmartAngel Entertainment Acquires Life Rights to Country Star and LGBTQ Activist Chely Wright (Exclusive)

Fresh off her recent Emmy win for the comedy series “Hacks,” Jean Smart is ramping up development at her production company, SmartAngel Entertainment.

Smart and her producing partner, Angeliki Giannakopoulos, have acquired the rights to the real-life stories of two individuals who challenged the status quo and took a stand to make a difference for marginalized voices.Projects in development at SmartAngel include the true stories of John Hawkins, an Ole Miss college student who in 1981 refused to carry the Confederate flag; and country music artist, author and LGBTQ activist Chely Wright.In 1981, Hawkins was at the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) under a band scholarship.

He became the first Black cheerleader to join the Ole Miss Varsity Cheerleader Squad.

When asked by a reporter if he was willing to carry the Confederate flag on game days, he said no — which led to racial abuse and threats.

Hawkins’ story resurfaced

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