Entertainment behind the scenes
Should all religions be taboo when it comes to comedy and satire?
Comedy Central — the same TV network that managed to both anger and bow to Muslim sensibilities in April by airing and later censoring a “South Park” episode portraying the Prophet Mohammad — is now at the center of a pre-emptive storm over plans to develop a comedy show about Jesus.
A new coalition of family and religious groups Citizens Against Religious Bigotry has called on Comedy Central not to air the animated series “JC” and asked advertisers to refuse to sponsor it.
The show, billed as being about Jesus trying to live as a regular guy in New York City, is still in the development stage, is not on the air yet, and has not yet been given a green light by the network.
Still, Parents Television Council president Tim Winters called the series offensive, labeled Comedy Central as bigoted and said he was fed up of Hollywood “using the notion of being offensive to everyone as cover” for its comedy targets.
As in all walks of life, where to draw the line is one of the big questions that faces the world of the arts.
In a field where shock value is a particularly prized commodity, artists — be they painters, film makers, musicians or authors – are constantly being criticised for going too far in what they paint/direct/sing/write.
(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)
Having recently re-invented herself as a country music, rather than a pop, star, the blond, Texas-born daughter of a church minister says she now wants to study religion.
“I’ve been contemplating taking a college course in religion,” Simpson told Marie Claire magazine in an interview. “I love religion. I remember whenever the book ‘The Da Vinci Code’ came out, the Discovery Channel did this three-night piece on it that I TiVoed and then watched eight times.”
Simpson, 28, started singing in the choir of her Baptist church but later became a teen pop star in the mode of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. A strong Christian, she wore a purity ring and said she had remained a virgin until her short-lived marriage in 2002 to boyband singer Nick Lachey.
Simpson later branched out into acting, appearing in the 2005 movie “The Dukes of Hazard”. But in September she released a country music album that went to the top of the Billboard country music charts, giving Simpson her first No 1album.
Creation is different. One of the biggest Christian music festivals in the United States, it has a dress code (no bare bellies for girls, shirts to be worn at all times by both sexes) and alcohol and drugs are strictly off limits.