Religious leaders unite against planned Jesus cartoon
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It's not on the air yet. It's not shot yet. There's no pilot yet. There might not even be a script yet.
But Comedy Central's plan to develop an animated project about Jesus Christ has the biggest names in the TV watchdog business forming a protest supergroup to preemptively smite the show.
Brent Bozell (president, Media Research Center), Tony Perkins (president, Family Research Council), Michael Medved (talk radio host), Bill Donohue (president, Catholic League), Rabbi Daniel Lapin (American Alliance of Jews and Christians) and Tim Winter (president, Parents Television Council) are joining forces to form the Coalition Against Religious Bigotry.
Comedy Central's "JC" is in development, which means it's still a couple of steps from getting the green light as a series. The project is about Jesus trying to live as a regular guy in New York City and wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father." Because Comedy Central recently censored "South Park" for its portrayals of the Prophet Muhammad, some Christian leaders see the prospect of a Jesus cartoon as proof of an offensive double standard.
CARB will hold its first press conference on Thursday to urge advertisers not to support the project, should it ever hit the air.
"After we reveal the vile and offensive nature of Comedy Central's previous characterizations of Jesus Chris and God the Father, we expect these advertisers to agree wholeheartedly to end their advertising on Comedy Central and discontinue their support for unabashed, anti-Christian discrimination," Bozell said in a statement. "Why should they be supporting a business that makes a habit of attacking Christianity and yet has a formal policy to censor anything considered offensive to followers of Islam? This double standard is pure bigotry, one from which advertisers should quickly shy away."
Comedy Central had no comment.