Characters Unite

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Special Event adds to Characters Unite Film Series Created by NBCU Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer to Raise Awareness of Social Injustice

In Commemoration of Memorial Day, Limited Commercial Presentation of Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July" Premieres May 23 at 7/6c

NEW YORK – May 21, 2015 – USA Network today announced that "Born on the Fourth of July" will be the next classic added to the Characters Unite Film Series, designed to raise a dialogue to promote greater tolerance and acceptance. In commemoration of Memorial Day, the groundbreaking film will air on USA Network, Saturday, May 23 at 7/6c and feature a special, new introduction from lead actor Tom Cruise, who received a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination for his role. The Academy Award-winning film follows the autobiographical story of Ron Kovic (Cruise), a native New Yorker who, upon graduating from high school enlists in the Marine Corps, suffers a crippling injury during his tour in Vietnam and faces indifference and discrimination when he returns home.

"'Born on the Fourth of July' is a powerful look at the challenges faced by our nation's veterans, not only in battle but long afterwards," said Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. "It's a timely reminder this Memorial Day weekend of the respect we owe the young men and women who sacrifice so much in these perpetually troubled times."

Inspired by Kovic's best-selling autobiography of the same name, "Born on the Fourth of July" pays tribute to a brave soldier, who returns home from his tour of duty confined to a wheelchair. Enraged by his feelings of betrayal by the country for which he served, he becomes an anti-war activist. The 1989 Oscar-winning film for Best Director and Best Film Editing garnered critical acclaim for its role in shedding light on the discrimination and injustice facing veterans.

"Born on the Fourth of July" is the ninth film in the successful Characters Unite Film Series, which launched in April 2012 with "To Kill a Mockingbird" featuring an introduction by President Barack Obama. Additional films in the series have included "The Color Purple," with an introduction by the film's star, Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg; "Schindler's List," featuring an introduction by the film's director Steven Spielberg; "Milk," with an introduction by Emmy® Award-winner and activist Neil Patrick Harris; "Philadelphia" introduced by President Bill Clinton; "In the Heat of the Night," with an introduction by music icon Quincy Jones; "Do The Right Thing," featuring an introduction by Rosie Perez; and "Glory" with a special introduction from Emmy Award-winner Andre Braugher.

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About Characters Unite

Characters Unite, USA Network's award-winning public service program, was created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network's iconic "Characters Welcome" brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to supporting activities and messaging that combat hate and discrimination while promoting tolerance, understanding and acceptance -- on-air, online, and in communities across the country.

About USA Network

USA Network, the leader in cable entertainment, offers a powerful stable of dramatic, comedic and unscripted originals in more than 102 million U.S. homes. The network also features spectacular live television, a dynamic portfolio of acquired series and the best in blockbuster theatrical films and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. USA's award-winning website is located at