Normally, PSAs are, at best, hilarious and, at worst, overwrought. But a new MTV PSA, “Thank Your Hero,” is surprisingly moving. The three-minute clip features a number of HIV-positive people speaking out about the people who helped them when they were first diagnosed.
“Thank Your Hero” is sparsely shot, which helps with the emotional impact. HIV-positive people sit in front of a blank, white backdrop and tell their stories. This is intercut with the people the subjects are talking about secretly watching on a nearby monitor.
The subjects discuss the fear and grief they faced when they originally got their diagnoses. But they were each helped by people who reassured them and squelched the misconceptions they had about HIV. The people are friends, lovers, employers and more — and, at the end of the video, the people are reunited in a sea of happy tears and hugs.
The “Thank Your Hero” video ties in with the new Logo documentary Quiet Heroes. The film, which airs Aug. 23 at 8 p.m., is about two lesbians, a doctor and physician’s assistant, who became the only two people who would treat HIV and AIDS patients in Utah. Quiet Heroes is directed and produced by Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, and Amanda Stoddard, and part of the Emmy Award-winning Logo Documentary Films series.
Though an airdate has not been mentioned for the “Thank Your Hero” PSA, or even if it will air on the network, we believe it may air on tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards; the YouTube video features a #VMA hashtag.