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With his ‘serious head injury,’ Dustin Lance Black knows ‘the road back will be long’

A man in a tux in front of an awards backdrop
Dustin Lance Black, seen at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards, recently sustained a head injury.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

Months after taking a break from social media, “Under the Banner of Heaven” TV creator Dustin Lance Black revealed that he’s been facing a health issue.

“A month ago I sustained a serious head injury that put me out of commission. Showing little improvement, my doctors ordered me to shut off my brain in hopes of it healing,” he announced in an Instagram post Monday.

The Oscar-winning screenwriter, who took home the original screenplay award at the 2009 Academy Awards for “Milk,” shared photos of his vacation in Greece with husband Tom Daley. Black’s Instagram posts show the director strolling along the shores of Greek beaches and watching the sunset and resting poolside with Daley.

Oscar-winning screenwriter and LGBT rights activist Dustin Lance Black was on the phone.

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Black did not give additional details about how he sustained the injury but said that dealing with the head trauma “has been a challenging, frightening time for a creative type who depends on what’s in his skull to work, care and love.” He also knows that the healing process won’t be easy.

“And now I understand the road back will be long,” he added on Instagram. “But this week my sweet, over the top husband took us to the Greek Islands to make me shut off. I can already feel this trip is a step in the right direction, and I finally feel safe sharing a bit again. Thank you for all of your love and patience. More to come. Promise.”

In the Instagram comments, Black received support from NPR host Ari Shapiro, “Great British Bake Off” alum Rahul Mandal and “Lingua Franca” filmmaker Isabel Sandoval.

“Hope you feel better soon, Lance. Take care,” wrote Sandoval, who directed an episode of Black’s “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

In ‘Under the Banner of Heaven,’ based on the book by Jon Krakauer, Dustin Lance Black delivers an unflinching portrait of the faith he grew up in.

Black, whose television work also includes “Big Love” and “When We Rise,” most recently debuted the miniseries “Under the Banner of Heaven,” starring Andrew Garfield as police officer Jeb Pyre. The show, for which Garfield received an Emmy nomination, prompted Black to revisit his upbringing under the Mormon church.

While doing research for the show, an adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s bestseller of the same name, Black reached out to officials in Salt Lake City’s Mormon Church and the investigators who worked the ritualistic murder of Brenda Lafferty and her infant daughter.

“I’m sure the Mormon Church will still find fault here and there. That is their job. But I wanted to make that job very difficult for them,” Black previously told The Times. “I stand behind the show in terms of how it depicts Mormonism — and not just Mormonism but, frankly, Christianity in America.”


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