Melissa Leo is coming to Netflix. The Oscar winning actress, who can currently be seen on Fox’s “Wayward Pines,” will play Madalyn Murray O’Hair in the streaming service’s upcoming “The Most Hated Woman in America.”
So, what did Murray O’Hair do to incur her nation’s wrath? For starters, deny the existence of God. The influential atheist activist founded the American Atheists organization — and served as its president for over 20 years — in addition to creating American Atheist Magazine. Murray O’Hair drew the most ire for her role in the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit — Murray O’Hair claimed it was unconstitutional that her son be forced to participate in Bible readings at public school. The case resulted in a Supreme Court ruling that put an end to official Bible-reading in American public schools. Afterwards, Murray O’Hair was described by Life magazine as “the most hated woman in America.”
Elizabeth Banks will serve as one of the producers on the film. Variety reports, “Netflix has worldwide rights and will release ‘The Most Hated Woman’ day-and-date on its streaming service and in theaters next year.”
The most prominent figures in the atheist movement in recent years — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, to name a few — have been men. We look forward to seeing a different face represent atheism.
Leo’s next big screen appearance will be playing documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras in “Snowden” which opens in theaters December 25.