Is Hollywood prejudiced against Jesus? Does Tinseltown have a Jim Crow-type antagonism prompting Christians to stay on their own side of the tracks?
A poll, commissioned just before the Republican National Convention by the God’s Not Dead 2 filmmakers, indicates that most moviegoers have mixed feelings – with only a small percentage of Republicans saying Christians are portrayed “positively.”
“Christianity is getting a bad rap in movies and TV shows,” reports the Hollywood Reporter, citing findings of the respected Barna Group. “The poll asked consumers: ‘What is your opinion of Hollywood’s treatment of Christianity?’”
The answers didn’t surprise Hollywood veteran Pat Boone, one of Hollywood’s bold Christian stars – who appears in God’s Not Dead 2. “Christianity imposes restrictions on behavior, even in movies,” Boone told the magazine. “Hollywood doesn’t like it when people tell them to stick to moral rules because it makes a lot of money breaking those rules. Orgies, vampires, zombies, debauchery of all forms. Anything goes, and it is liberal Democrats who are making these films. Depravity is profitable.”
Boone offered an example from his own career, saying he was recently offered a role in a TV pilot where he’d play a Christian book publisher as “a heathen, money-grubbing hypocrite.”
“This happens all the time,” said Boone. “They tried to utilize my good image to skewer people of faith. They portray us as dunces.”
Former presidential hopeful and convention speaker Mike Huckabee agreed. “It’s harder today than ever to truly live as a person of faith because you’re subjected to ridicule and scorn and contempt,” he said.
Radio host and movie reviewer Michael Medved, broadcasting live from the convention, told the magazine that he also wasn’t at all surprised. “I could rattle off lots of titles from the 1980s and 1990s, but it’s not as easy now,” he told the Hollywood Reporter, citing The Shawshank Redemption (1994), where the sadistic warden “is emphasized as having a cross on his lapel.” He also listed Monsignor (1982), The Godfather Part III (1990) and Cape Fear (1991), where the bad guy played by Robert De Niro has a giant tattoo of a Christian cross.
Said Medved: “It’s not so much that Christians are lampooned all the time — though that certainly happens — it’s that they’re ignored, and they shouldn’t be. In any given week, four times more Americans go to church than go to the movies.”
God’s Not Dead 2 comes to Blu-ray™ combo pack and DVD on August 16, 2016.