Madonna's Confessions Tour stunt
NBC is going to blink in its standoff with Christians over its decision to broadcast a "Confessions Tour" crucifixion stunt performed by Madonna, according to an organization that has been campaigning against the program.
"NBC does not want a fight with AFA and the Christian community," American Family Association chairman Donald E. Wildmon said yesterday. "NBC may wiggle and wobble, but in the final analysis, they will not show that scene.
"We expect a public announcement from NBC canceling the scene within two weeks," he said.
A report in the New York Daily News said that a disagreement was developing between the performer and the network over the issue.
"The material girl may have a falling out with the Peacock network," the report said. "It seems that creative differences over a controversial crucifixion scene in Madonna's current tour could spell the end for NBC's long-planned special on her concert."
That special, which was filmed earlier this year in Wembley, England, was to have been aired in the U.S. on NBC in November, officials said earlier.
The scene features Madonna hanging on a cross wearing a fake crown of thorns, and the performer has said she considers it the highlight of her current tour. NBC Entertainment executive Kevin Reilly earlier confirmed the network reviewed it and "didn't see it as being inappropriate."
"However, his opinion changed quickly after NBC came under tremendous pressure from American Family Association and its supporters to cancel broadcasting of Madonna's blasphemous actions," AFA, a pro-family advocacy group with more than two million supporters, said.
The network told the Daily News that it was awaiting the special, and when it arrives, a "final decision" will be made.
Randy Sharp, who heads special projects for AFA, told WND the group is confident of the outcome of the dispute.
"Here's what we think is going to happen. NBC is going to say, 'We can't show it.'" Then, he said, Madonna with withdraw.
As WND reported earlier, Christians in Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia and Australia already have been offended by that part of her world-wide tour.
Just a few days ago, Wildmon had written NBC Chairman Robert Wright asking him to cancel the scheduled airing.
He noted Madonna in 1989 had a video that also mocked the crucifixion, for a song "Like A Prayer." That featured burning crosses, "statues crying blood and Madonna – representing Jesus – freeing a saint from his sexual repression by seducing him," Wildmon wrote.
The National Clergy Council also asked NBC not to broadcast what President Rev. Rob Schenck called an "obnoxious spectacle."
The group represents church leaders of Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant traditions.
"By sponsoring Madonna’s mockery of Christ, NBC will insult the majority of Americans and millions more around the globe," he said. "I must wonder if NBC would approve of Madonna’s mocking a major event in the life of Mohammed?”
Related special offers: