LOS ANGELES – Just weeks after Comedy Central executives censored a program due to its controversial portrayal of Muhammad, the network has many viewers up in arms with the announcement of a new in-development series entitled “JC,” a situation comedy about God and Jesus Christ.
According to Comedy Central’s thumbnail sketch, the potential series will present "JC" as a regular guy who moves to New York to “escape his father’s enormous shadow,” while God is characterized as an apathetic man who would rather play video games than listen to his son open up about his Big Apple life.
In response to the announcement, distraught leaders at the new Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB), which includes representatives from organizations such as the Media Research Center, Parents Television Council, and The American Alliance of Jews and Christians, are holding a news conference this Thursday to “denounce the project and the concept of glorifying religious bigotry,” as they believe Comedy Central openly mocks and disparages God and Christianity while taking strict measures not to ridicule Islam.
The joint coalition also intends to release the names of those companies who both do and don’t buy advertising spots on “JC.”
“After we reveal the vile and offensive nature of Comedy Central’s previous characterizations of Jesus Christ 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,” said Media Research Center President, Brent Bozell. “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."
After all, there are other avenues to redirect their advertising dollars in places that do not offend and alienate viewers," Bozell added. "We will reconvene in the coming weeks to share the results of our appeal and the next steps we will take.”
On that note, Pop Tarts has also obtained an excerpt of CARB’s letter petitioning advertisers to publicly declare they will not spend their advertising dollars on the show.
“The undersigned organizations represent millions of concerned Americans and we write to you with great urgency. As you may already know, Viacom’s Comedy Central outlet is developing an animated series entitled ‘JC,’” the lead paragraph reads. “This program is being offered up as a situation comedy about God and his son, Jesus Christ. The blasphemy and religious bigotry inherent in this concept is not only offensive to the 83 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Christians but also to many non-Christian groups who have also signed this letter.”
And as of Thursday, others who are outraged by the concept of “JC” will be able to sign an online grassroots petition condemning the in-development cartoon series and its parent company Viacom, as well as stand up to what CARB is calling an “egregious double standard” in the way Hollywood and popular culture treats Christianity.
But according to an industry insider closely affiliated with Comedy Central, the onslaught may have started too soon, as the show is very far from being a done deal.
“The development slate announcement contained over 20 projects, most of which, like 'JC,' are in the earliest stage of development, a script deal. Most script deals never even make it to the pilot stage and, of those that do, only a few pilots ever make it to a series commitment to be aired,” said our source. “To be clear, ‘JC’ is, at this point in time, just a script deal and not an actual series commitment or even a pilot commitment. The odds of it progressing and finding its way on air are, like all other script deals, very slim.”