NBC, Christian group spar over Will & Grace

A conservative advocacy group that urged a boycott of NBC's recently canceled drama about a pill-popping priest turned its wrath Thursday to an upcoming Will & Grace episode that it says will mock Christ's crucifixion.

But NBC executives insist the group's objections stem from faulty details in a press release mistakenly issued by the network earlier this week and that neither a script nor a storyline for the episode in question has been written.

The latest religious flap at NBC flared after the network announced Tuesday that pop star Britney Spears will make an April 13 guest appearance on Will & Grace, playing a Christian conservative talk-show sidekick to Jack, the gay character portrayed by series regular Sean Hayes.

According to NBC's initial synopsis of the episode, Jack's fictional TV network, Out TV, is taken over by a Christian broadcaster, leading Spears' character to do a cooking segment on his show called "Cruci-fixin's."

The American Family Association immediately raised objections to the planned episode, saying it "mocks the crucifixion of Christ" and will "further denigrate Christianity" by airing the night before Good Friday.

On its Web site, the Mississippi-based advocacy group called on its supporters to urge network affiliates to refuse to run the episode and to write letters of protest to NBC.

NBC countered that the dispute stems from an inaccurate press release that went out without being properly vetted.

"Some erroneous information was mistakenly included in a press release describing an upcoming episode of Will & Grace which in fact has yet to be written," NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks told Reuters late in the day.

All that has been decided is that Spears will play a central role in an upcoming episode that will likely air sometime in April, Marks added.

There was no immediate comment from representatives for Spears, whose guest spot on the gay-themed sitcom will mark her first public performance since she had her first child in September.

The same organization urged an affiliate and advertising boycott of the recent NBC series The Book of Daniel, a drama starring Aidan Quinn as a Vicodin-addicted Episcopal minister who talks to Jesus.

NBC, a unit of the General Electric Co., yanked the program from its schedule last month after just three weeks on the air, citing abysmal ratings.

The network also had trouble finding commercial sponsors for the show, and several smaller affiliates declined to carry the series, objecting to its portrayal of Christian themes.

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Feb 11, 2006
Oh great, another boycott. What, will they not allow Will and Grace to have their final season without trying to get it cancelled first? Bad enough that The Book of Daniel (A GREAT SHOW) suffered at the hands of these jerks. Now a great comedy is also going to suffer.

It's a TV show. Protest the war or something important! Don't like it??? DON'T WATCH IT!!! Let people decide on their own if they are offended. What are they so worried about? People might start THINKING??? Heaven forbid
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Feb 09, 2006
If it is a joke - it is in BAD taste! and I don't think it is funny at all.

Ok...say someone hits you in a place that is very shall we say "private" and says "I'm just joking"...you wouldn't think it funny, huh?

Well, I am a Christian, I do read my bible and I do pray and making a mockery out of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is NOT funny and when you stand before Him and have to answer to Him for each and every thing you say or do, try to make Him laugh when you say "but I thought it was funny".

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Feb 06, 2006
"If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything".

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Feb 06, 2006
Can we get Jessica Hahn to weigh in on this issue?
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Feb 06, 2006
Christianity is such bullcrap and its practicing members are a bunch of idiots.

If Jesus Christ really died for my sins, can't all of his followers just do the same?
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Feb 06, 2006
Hey, how 'bout bringing back "Amos n Andy"? After all, anyone it offends can just change the channel. Remember, tolerance, everyone!
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Feb 05, 2006
Cruci-fixin's? "The Simpsons already did it!"
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Feb 05, 2006
"is to be ignorant of fans that like the series but takes offense to a particular episode."

What, may I ask, is a christian conservative doing watching a show about homosexuals in the first place? According to the AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION, anything that promotes acceptance of homosexual behavior is a big, big no no. According to their site, the whole ABC network is on their boycott list. Their even against the American Civil Liberies Union. Which I find unbelievably scary.

The second point I'd like to make, is, I never tried to imply that my first amendment rights trump yours.You are absolutely entitled to voice your opinions. But let's have a little perspective. It's a TV comedy, it was a joke. Cruci-fixin's is funny.

Lastly, Christian conservatives have more in common with Islamic fundamentalists than you might think. They both seem to believe that their way is the ONLY way. They are both intolerant of anything that doesn't fall in line with their beLIEfs. A good example is all the fuss over a cartoon that appeared in the Danish press. The Islamic extremists are setting buildings on fire over the expression of an opinion. Christians write letters and organize boycotts. One could argue that Islamics are more motivated and care more.

I'm offended by the fact that "In God We Trust" is printed on my money, I'm offended that the pledge of allegiance contains the phrase "one nation, under god" and any other reference to god when there is supposed to be a seperation of church and state in this country. But, in the end, they are just words on a piece of paper. It's not hurting me, or infringing on my ability to lead a healthy happy life, yet. Not worth raising a big fuss over. And not EVERYONE shares my beliefs, so live and let live.

The coming energy crisis and the resulting economic collapse are what we all should be worrying about. Not what is being depicted on a meaningless television show. In 50 years, no one on either side of this issue, is even going to remember that little joke anyway.
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Feb 05, 2006
Some folks give us Christian nutballs a bad name.

If I remember the three or four sentences I read of the
Bible (the Scofield version of the King James one-not the 'Fisherman's Bible',the 'Wiccan Bible' or the open source one with the cute lil' penguin on the cover) correctly,people aren't supposed to light into other folks until they have determined the facts of the case.

THEN,they're supposed to approach them in a calm,
rational,loving manner and discuss with them what they may have done wrong.

(This assumes that most people cause offense inadvertantly and will amend their behaviour willingly
if the problems are brought to their attention.)

If and when the offending party has ignored such an approach,one may bring the TRUTH (not rumour) out into
the open and let them accept the logical consequences
of their actions.

This gives them the free will to make whatever choices
they deem fit while those who disagree have the liberty
to object,counter their actions,withhold any support that might seem to condone something inappropriate and
inform others of what they need to know to make their
own fair decisions.

A just and informed critique and trusting people to make sane choices for themselves is part of the package.

As I understand it,no one has to compromise their best
judgement or their principles when such a discussion takes place.

The goal is to get rid of the problem-not to destroy
an 'enemy'.

Expressing disapproval and following up with 'shunning'
and 'boycotts' can be a legitimate response from persons of any ideology if it is preceded by respect.

(If not for the other person,at least for yourself
and the issues at hand.)

A refusal to listen to others' perspective and a refusal to make reasonable accommodations smacks of
insensitivity and a lack of faith in the validity of one's own position.

That which is genuine can meet the challenge of criticism and public scrutiny.

That which is phony or done for effect cannot withstand
a process based on truth and fairness.

If a God-fearing organization has lodged a public protest against a program,one would assume they have
had a reasonable expectation that their information was correct and that no effort was spared to reach an agreement with the other party.

An unwarranted attack on a show before it aired would
go against Christian values far more than an irreverent
depiction of a television hostess who could serve the causes of both God and Fannie Farmer with an equal lack of good taste.

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Feb 05, 2006
yes I believe I am starting to understand the Christian concern for policing the morals of our country, A TV character that is a Christian Broadcaster with a cooking show is offensive, a Priest that turns to Jesus for advise and councel is offensive. But it is good for a Christian leader to call for the assination of a Foreign head of state, I can see that is a positive Christian Theme. Thanks Harlann for making that clear to me.
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Feb 05, 2006
If you don't agree with it YOU DON'T HAVE TO WATCH IT. You know the remote has an off button TURN IT OFF or use those little arrow things to turn it over. I don't agree with those religious channels or on Sunday Mornings when channels will show church in the mornings so according to another comment left here I have the right to protest those it is the exact same things but I chose not to waste my time and delete the channels and don't watch the church broadcast.
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Feb 05, 2006
It seems that The Libs here wrap themselves with the First Amendment Rights cloth frequently for themselves but don’t allow it for others. Well, it pertains to the protesters as well. If someone doesn't like something...they will protest it. If the episode was considered offensive, Christians will protest it and tough if you don’t like it. A peaceful protest by a boycott or letter campaign to sponsors is a good thing. Nothing wrong about that. “Change the channel if you don’t like it!” Ah…no…don’t have too. A letter to the network saying an episode is in bad taste is in our right to do so. To say “shut up, sit down or change the channel”…is to be ignorant of fans that like the series but takes offense to a particular episode.

Lucky that Christians don’t have the same belief systems as…say…Islam. Cause if they did…well, NBC Headquarters in New York would have been burned to the ground when Book Of Daniel first aired.
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Feb 05, 2006
what is the big deal

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Feb 05, 2006
Christians need to stop trying to boycott everything and start doing some actual GOOD in this country. You'd figure they could waste their time on something positive instead of bitching about a TV show.
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Feb 05, 2006
You Christian nutballs. I have only met a few Christians who have even READ the bible, but apparently having read the bible completely and thoroughly isn't a requirement to spout off about it. I think Jesus is ashamed of the vast majority of the members of the AFA.
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Feb 04, 2006
Harlan wrote - "Well, ya know, I'm getting pretty sick and tired myself as well...of these so called self important liberals who say we "have to except anything Holltwood puts out". Uh...no, we don't. If someone finds something offensive they have the right to protest that to any civil way they see fit."

If you find something offensive you also have a right to either change the channel or turn off your television. You make the assumption that every citizen in this country shares YOUR beliefs. Well they don't!I find it offensive that groups like yours are constantly trying to push your beliefs on the rest of this country. We have something in this country (the USA) called the constitution that guarantees us two very important rights. The first is the freedom of speech. That right gives every american the right to say whatever we wish. It does not say we can say whatever we want as long as we don't insult or offend an intolerant group of bigots. The second freedom the constitutiom assures us is the freedom of religion. Which means I have the right to live free and unfetterd of YOUR beliefs.
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Feb 03, 2006
Well, ya know, I'm getting pretty sick and tired myself as well...of these so called self important liberals who say we "have to except anything Holltwood puts out". Uh...no, we don't. If someone finds something offensive they have the right to protest that to any civil way they see fit. And basically, tough if you don't like the protest.

Remember...it's the finanical bottom line that runs the biz....and Christians have enormous buying power. The sponsors and the networks know that. So, with that, at least in TV Land...screw content. If some one doesn't like something...and they speak loudly enough with voice and pocket-book...they WILL be heard.
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Feb 03, 2006
Yep.
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Feb 03, 2006
Well the shows endin aanyway.SO WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!
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Feb 03, 2006
As usual, Christians make for unquestionably funnier entertainment than Will and Grace.
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Feb 03, 2006
The only things that "denigrate" Christianity are these so-called "Christian family" groups. They are little more than organizations that preach bigotry and intolerance. It is they who are mocking Christ by not following his teachings. It is they who should be boycotted.

I don't like Will and Grace or The Book of Daniel. But I find these calls for boycotts disgusting and hypocritical. If these people truly follow the teachings of Christ, they wouldn't get so bent out of shape over something that is supposed to be a joke. It's obvious they are targetting Will and Grace because of the homosexual characters. W&G offends their conservative "Christian" morals.
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