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Queerty: Zachary Quinto’s new project explores forgotten gay purge at Harvard


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Zachary Quinto has announced that he is to produce and star in a new podcast exploring a little-known episode of queer history.

Secret Court will be a scripted podcast looking at events at Harvard University 100 years ago. In 1920, an undergraduate called Cyril Wilcox died by suicide. Wilcox was gay, and following his death, the university launched a witch hunt against fellow gay students and faculty members.

Related: Zachary Quinto reveals what prompted his decision to come out

It set up a secret court to root out and expel anyone it believed to be gay. Led by the then-President, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, and Deans, the court condemned eight students, four “accomplices” and a handful of Cambridge locals. The students were expelled from the university and any official record of them ever attending Harvard was expunged.

One young man, a 23-year-old dentistry student, killed himself before he could be expelled from the famed Massachusetts institution.

The entire incident was kept a Harvard secret for over 80 years and was only publicly revealed in 2002.

Secret Court will be scripted by The Artist’s Wife writer Abdi Nazemian.

In a statement, Quinto, who starred as Spock in the re-booted Star Trek movies and recently featured in Netflix’s The Boys In The Band, said, “I’m honored to lend my voice and help amplify the story of these promising young members of the LGBTQ+ community, who were marginalized and sidelined due to the social intolerance of their day. A hundred years later, I am grateful to their contributions and sacrifices, and recognize that I stand on their shoulders today.”

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The podcast will be co-produced by Quinto’s Before The Door Pictures, Spoke Media, Topic Studios, Vespucci Group, and writer Rafael Moraes. Spoke Media’s co-founder, Alia Tavakolian, said, “This is an important story that needs to be told. Brigham Mosley, the creative lead, has done a brilliant job of drawing out a beautiful narrative.

“Yes, there is tragedy and pain here, but there is also joy, happiness, and inspiration. And we’re thrilled to create a piece that showcases all the bravery and vitality of these tremendous young men who chose to pursue community and understanding despite living in a world that attempted to wipe out their existence.”

Queerty