A group of prominent conservatives spoke out Thursday against an animated series that Viacom’s Comedy Central is developing called “JC,” saying it was a “glaring double standard where religious matters are concerned.”
The show will “depict Jesus living in New York City trying to escape his father’s enormous shadow,” Comedy Central said in a press release. In the show God is “an apathetic man who would rather play video games than listen to his son talk about his new life. JC is a playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb.”
To highlight the ways in which Comedy Central has shown a lack of respect toward Christians over the years, the Media Research Center compiled a montage of clips from several shows on the network. One of the snippets shows Buddha snorting lines of cocaine while complaining to Jesus that he watches too much pornography. Another has actress and comedian Sarah Silverman in bed with “God.”
Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center and member of the group calling itself Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB), said: “On the one hand [Comedy Central] has a policy where it won’t do anything that in the slightest way might be offensive to Muslims… But on the other hand for years it has shown a desire to mock and ridicule Jesus Christ and Christians and God the Father while they’re at it.”
In April, “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone received violent threats from Islamic extremists for an episode that depicted Islam’s prophet Mohammed in a bear costume. Comedy Central executives later decided to censor that episode by obscuring the character with a black box.
Radio talk show host Michael Medved, also a member of CARB, said that one could make the point that Comedy Central “pulled back because threats of violence.”
“But does that indicate that Christians then get punished because they aren’t crazy, that they get punished because their religion doesn’t encourage people to commit acts of violence?” said Medved.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said Parker and Stone even joked that if Catholics “don’t want us ripping on Jesus anymore they should just threaten violence and they’ll get their way.”
Bozell said that CARB has sent letters to over 250 top television advertisers asking them not to sponsor the show, saying that “anyone who advertises on this show will be a sponsor of anti-Christian bigotry as far as we’re concerned, so we’re asking them to distance themselves from this.”
“We feel quite confident that once they see what exactly they would be sponsoring that no decent company is going to want to have anything to do with this,” said Bozell
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, president of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, said that he likes many of the shows on Comedy Central.
“Perhaps I should be embarrassed to say it, but some Comedy Central shows like ‘Colbert’ and ‘The Daily Show’ and even ‘The Old Man Show’ episodes added something to the culture. As far as I was concerned, personally, their cleverness and their humor overrode the occasional crude vulgarities,” said Lapin.
“However, to restrict the use of ridicule and mockery only against Islam, I think is a sort of pathetic and hypocritical. Claims of standing up against censorship lose all credibility on the part of the channel.”
According to entertainment reports, “JC” is still in development and it is not certain that a pilot will be created or that it will result in a series. The show is one of 23 idea’s the network has said it is testing.