The Austin Chronicle

Let Leticia Speak

Initial script for new film about Wendy Davis filibuster may have missed a few historical marks

By Mary Tuma, November 24, 2017, News

As one of the more historic moments in recent Texas history, Sen. Wendy Davis' 2013 filibuster that (temporarily) blocked anti-abortion House Bill 2 was destined to be immortalized. So when Texans got wind that New York City filmmaker Mario Correa was turning the event into a movie (Let Her Speak, starring Sandra Bullock), many were ecstatic – that is, until the script leaked, and folks learned that Correa hands off Sen. Leticia Van de Putte's famous words, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?" to Davis, the script's central character. Van de Putte's integral line, delivered shortly after arriving at the Capitol from her father's funeral, elicited such deafening cheers and applause from the activists in the gallery that the vote was impossible to cast before its midnight deadline, killing the bill in round one. The misattribution is especially unsettling considering the lines by Van de Putte, a Latina, would be relinquished to Davis, a white woman.

Following outcry over the historical inaccuracy, Davis took to social media to clear the air. "Rest assured that I have already expressed my position that my sister Senator, Leticia Van de Putte, be appropriately credited with the incomparable role that she played," Davis wrote in a post on Nov. 14. "The writer, Mario [Correa] is incredibly talented, committed to telling our story authentically, has a history working in politics for a strong woman, and is Latino himself. He has already incorporated my suggested change that Leticia's character, not mine will speak that iconic line, as it should be!" Davis reminded the public that the script is in early draft form and there will be "more improvements" to come.

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