Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Disney-owned ABC Studios has stirred up a hornet’s nest over plans to debut a new television series this fall tentatively titled “Good Christian B—-es.”
Based on the book of the same name by author Kim Gatlin, the TV series is being made by the reportedly homosexual executive producer Darren Star, Emmy-winning creator of a several steamy TV hits, including “Melrose Place,” “Beverly Hills, 90210″ and “Sex and the City.”
The pilot episode stars actress Leslie Bibb as Amanda, a mother of two and onetime “mean girl” in high school who returns home to Dallas following a scandalous divorce, only to discover she is the center of malicious gossip in the Christian community.
The book’s website and promotional materials advertise the tagline: “Never let God get in the way of a good story.”
Gatlin insists, however, her book is not meant to mock God, only “those of us who love God and don’t always make the best choices to honor him.”
“All Southern girls are taught to love Jesus, but just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we’re perfect,” Gatlin told Newsweek in an interview. “In every affluent neighborhood and every trailer park you have people who are going to gossip and disappoint each other and betray one another. That’s just an ugly part of human nature.”
Turning Gatlin’s tale into a network TV series called “Good Christian B—-es,” however, has several groups furious over what they label as both obscene and denigrating.
“ABC’s decision is not only an affront to women, it blatantly attacks the world’s largest faith,” said Parents Television Council President Tim Winter in a statement. “The ‘B-word’ is toxic and is used to degrade, abuse, harass, bully and humiliate women. And the ‘Christian’ element only adds insult to injury.
“Would ABC even consider another faith to denigrate?” Winter asked. “Would they even consider a program title or a plot line based on ‘B—-es’ who were Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist? I suspect not, and I certainly hope not. So why the double standard?”
Yana Walton from the Women’s Media Center told Fox News that Christians aren’t the only ones who should be upset by the show’s title and particularly the “B-word.”
“It is not an appropriate term to use to describe any woman, regardless of their faith,” Walton said. “Entertainment media, especially music and films, have been normalizing misogynistic language for years.”
America Family Association spokesman Randy Sharp also told Fox News, “The name of the show is offensive to Christians, it’s insulting and demeaning, it’s misrepresentative of the Christian community – not just that, I think it’s insulting to all women.”
According to the PTC, “Good Christian B—-es” would only join other new or planned TV series – including CBS’ “$#*! My Dad Says” and another ABC pilot titled “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23″ – in propagating foul language on television.
“Unfortunately, this show is just one example of a larger trend,” Winter said in his statement. “This is the latest strike in what appears to be a concerted effort to popularize profanity on network television. On prime time broadcast TV, use of the B-word alone increased from 431 instances in 1998 to 1,277 in 2007.”
Both the PTC and AFA have launched signature drives to petition ABC not to produce “Good Christian B—-es.”
“The ABC Television Network – and by extension, its parent corporation, the Walt Disney Company – must be called to account,” the PTC wrote in an action alert announcing its petition drive. “ABC has not even attempted to veil its hostility toward women and Christians. The bigotry is right up front in the title of the program and will be reinforced with every commercial, every advertisement, every billboard they pay for to promote the show.”
“Such intentionally offensive conduct must be stopped dead in its tracks before it becomes the standard for ‘entertainment’ in America,” PTC declared.
The AFA’s petition, which has reportedly topped 100,000 signatures and growing, similarly calls on Disney to drop all plans to air the program and further pledges to “join thousands of other voices in urging advertisers to place it on their ‘do not advertise’ list and consider pulling all ads from the ABC network in protest of this anti-Christian bigotry.”
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