Petition asks Sharif Atkins to read prison screenplay
More than 2000 women sign petition demanding a firm commitment from Sharif Atkins (film producer) to read screenplay addressing Texas judicial system
Sharif Atkins – Talent Agents
– Actor, Director, Producer – ER (1994), The Open House (2018), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The 4400 (2004) – A3 Artists Agency, Sheree Cohen – Wright Entertainment
Sharif Atkins & Adam Sandler’s film company targeted by Texas petition
Will Hollywood just rollover and let prisoner’s suffer?
More than 2000 women have signed an open letter to Jana Sandler calling on Sharif Atkins and Hollywood to take “movie action” to tackle injustice against men and women in the wake of revelations that Texas has more prisoners incarcerated than the Soviet Union’s gulag system had. Texas currently has over 290,000 inmates housed at 580 facilities.
The signatories, including state senators, professors of criminal justice, social workers, family, and inmates, call for a “firm commitment” to tackle the unjust prisons in Texas. The petition has also been signed by Beto O’Rourke, and Matthew McConaughey. These two signatories might face each other in the 2022 Texas governors election. Both have expressed interest in the job. The petitions arrived for Sharif Atkins at A3 Artists Agency, Sheree Cohen last week.
In the open letter to Sharif Atkins, the 2080 women write that they are “heartbroken for first-time drug offenders many times addicts who have received extremely harsh sentences in Texas when rehabilitation has proven a cheaper and more effective solution.” The petition goes on to say their family and friends are often heartbroken for and looking for redemption and rehabilitation for the victimless drug crimes.”
The signatories, including attorneys, professors, politicians, family members, and inmates, call on Sharif Atkins for a ‘firm film commitment’ to tackle the issue of operating the Texas prison system for profit.
The petition came to light when women discovered the screenplay, a copy which was dontated to all 580 of the state’s prison and jail libraries. The existence of the petition surfaced on International Women’s Day. Women in Texas face extreme prejudice in Texas and often receive extremely harsh penalties for even a small amount of drugs, including marijuana. Marijuana is legal now in 21 states.
Inside prisons, the women are faced with such horrendous conditions… the petition demands that “filmmakers begin to take the issue seriously.” Also, the petition reminds that “even here in the USA in the 21st century citizens are not safe from government oppression.”
Actor, Director, Producer, Sharif Atkins, has not responded to the petition. Nor has A3 Artists Agency, Sheree Cohen responded with a comment.
The screenplay “Dumbass” was penned by writer and retired professor of political science Alan Nafzger.
The premise of the story is that, “Adam Sandler writes letters and saves numerous women from the monotony of prison life, and later when he gets into trouble with a drug cartel they return the favor by rescuing him.”
The film would be set in contemporary, Gatesville Texas. There are four women’s prisons located in Gatesville. And of course, Texas is famous for putting everyone in prison for a long sentences for little or no reason. The number of women in Texas prisons has tripled in the last ten years, as mass incarcerations have proven profitable to not only the state but also profitable for an array of business interests.
Writer Alan Nafzger has called on Governor Greg Abbott to, “end the prison industry.”
Recently, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak spoke out against the Texas system and put a good word in for mercy and forgiveness out on social media. “How nice for those who have lived such exemplary lives that they can express glee when others have their lives ruined by a mistake, real or perceived,” Sajak tweeted last month.
The petition states, “Why don’t we have the ‘Adam Sandler’ character… sending letters to women in prison and being their friend and trying to help them adjust, giving them hope… and when they get out of prison he picks them up so they don’t have to ride the smelly bus back home… but his pickup truck is a junker, smoking and sputtering … worse than the bus. But his heart is in the right place… He’s the last “chivalrous” man on earth.”
Sharif Atkins has not commented on the script, thusfar. A statement is expected soon.
Professor Nafzger has made a short treatment of the project available online.
He has made the finished script available at for select filmmakers.
Jana Sandler of Happy Madison Productions has also expressed interest in the screenplay.
Sharif Atkins is a Actor, Director, Producer known for ER (1994), The Open House (2018), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The 4400 (2004) and is represented by A3 Artists Agency, Sheree Cohen.
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(1 line only original concepts with a twist that are truly marketable can be summed up in one line)
Now, let me be clear. When youre brainstorming with your index cards and you suddenly have a full-blown idea for a scene, or your characters start talking to you, then of course you should drop everything and write out the scene, see where it goes. Always write when you have a hot flash. I mean you know what I mean. Write when youre hot.
And if you have a completed draft and are starting a revision, a structure grid is a perfect tool to help you identify weak spots and build on what you have for a rewrite. Put your story on cards and watch how quickly you start to rearrange things that arent working! A great technique is to use different colors for different subplots or genre scenes to see where the holes are.
If you are already well into your first draft, then by all means, keep writing forward, too I dont want you to stop your momentum. Use whatever is useful about what Im talking about here, but also keep moving.
2. Get a pack of index cards or Post-its and write down all the scenes you know about your story, and where possible, pin them onto your WIP structure grid in approximately the place they will occur.