Holly Robinson Peete’s newest Hallmark movie “overwhelmed” her with emotion, she shared on Twitter. The movie, called “Our Christmas Journey,” is about a single mom and her teenaged son with autism. The main character is portrayed by an actor who is on the autism spectrum himself. The movie hits home for Peete because not only does she portray a mom with a son who has autism, but she has a son with autism in real life too.
The new movie premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Saturday, December 4, at 10:01 p.m. Eastern.
Peete Said Having ‘Proper Representation’ in the Movie Was Important to Her
“Our Christmas Journey” stars Peete, Lyriq Bent, Aloma Wright, and Nik Sanchez. Sanchez not only portrays a character with autism in the movie, but he is also on the autism spectrum himself, People reported.
Peete wrote on Twitter about Sanchez’s role in the movie: “There was not one chance I was going to executive produce a film about #autism without proper representation.”
The movie’s synopsis reads: “As a single mom (Peete) and her teenaged son with autism (Sanchez) come to a crossroad during Christmas, she must learn to let go so he can flourish and finds her own heart healing in unexpected ways.”
Peete is an executive producer of the movie, which is produced by Charles Cooper and directed by Kevin Fair.
She said on Twitter about the movie: “I’m just overwhelmed w/ emotion because I have wanted to make a movie about an #autism family making transitions at #Christmas for a while.”
Sanchez also has a lead role in Lifetime’s movie “Safe Space,” which is a thriller about a recently widowed mom and her 14-year old son with autism, Deadline reported. Sanchez also stars as Silas March on “The Rookie.”
Here are some sneak peek photos that Hallmark shared for the new movie, premiering Saturday:
You can see a trailer for the movie below.
Peete’s Son in Real Life Is Also on the Autism Spectrum
In some ways, Peete’s movie mirrors her real life. She and her husband Rodney Peete have a son, R.J. Peete, 23, who is on the autism spectrum, People reported.
In a statement, Peete said: “I am making this movie for my son RJ, others with autism and their families. I am grateful to Hallmark for bringing this story to screen with authenticity, respect and hope.”
R.J. Peete was diagnosed in 2007. Peete said that when she first talked to People about R.J.’s diagnosis, her husband was worried that it might limit his possibilities in life by labeling him as a child with autism. But Holly told People: “I was this total opposite, I said we have to talk about this, because we have this platform to talk about autism and reach so many others.”
R.J. works as a clubhouse attendant for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which Holly said is his “dream job.”
She recently shared on Twitter: “I’ll forever be indebted to @Dodgers for hiring him 6 seasons ago. This clubhouse attendant job gave him confidence, purpose & FRIENDS. when RJ was 3 we were told he’d never have meaningful employment … Whenever I counsel parents who just received an #autism diagnosis I say start immediately to build a team around your child that will help him through life never imagining that RJ‘s team would include the Dodgers. The players are so good to him and treat him like a little bro…”
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