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 ↑
Making its television network debut tonight is a new ABC series that was originally titled “Good Christian Bi—-s” and that has already been blasted as “blasphemy,” “an affront to women” and “an attack on the world’s largest faith.”
Following some fury over the announcement of the series, ABC changed the show’s name first to “Good Christian Belles” and then again to simply “GCB,” but yanking obscenity from the title hasn’t settled questions about the show’s content.
As WND reported last year, “GCB” is based on the book “Good Christian Bi—-s” by Kim Gatlin and 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 a widow to Dallas, only to discover she is the center of malicious gossip in the Christian community.
Trailers, advertisements and sneak previews for the series suggest the show will be snide, steamy and seriously offensive to many Christians.
“ABC-TV has taken blasphemy against God, the Bible, God’s church and Jesus Christ to new levels of depravity,” claims Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission. “The [above] advertisement for ABC’s new program, ‘GCB,’ found in a New York subway, not only is a blasphemous use of the biblical command to “love thy neighbor,” [but] it also blasphemes Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross to save the souls of all people who have faith in Him.”
A trailer for the show also shows the Christian women of Dallas misusing other verses to justify pettiness, claiming God “told” them to buy furs, making jokes about oral sex and claiming teenage girls should wear low-cut clothing so their cleavage can help the crosses about their necks “hang straight.”
“Ladies, it is not appropriate to speak of such things on the phone,” declares one of the ladies in a “GCB” trailer. “I’ll see you in church.”
An ABC advertisment for the program can be seen below (Editor’s note: The trailer contains a minor profanity at the end of the clip):
“Clearly, this isn’t exactly a message Christian parents would want to send their daughters,” Baehr told WND. “Although the series may prove better than its trailers and name suggest, the fact that ‘GCB’ ridicules God, morality and Christians, who are little more than stereotypes, raises concerns for both families and Christians.”
The website and promotional materials for the book the series is based on advertise the tagline: “Never let God get in the way of a good story.”
The author 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, 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 ‘Bi—es’ who were Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist? I suspect not, and I certainly hope not. So why the double standard?”
“We urge everyone to call or write a letter complaining about this series,” Baehr says, offering the following contact information:
Anne Sweeney, President
Disney-ABC Television Group
Paul Lee, President
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 460-7777
“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 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.”