“Saturday Night Live” is known for pushing the limits, but the NBC spoof show may have gone too far with a recent skit that mocked Jesus.
The inflammatory Feb. 16 skit, inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s excessively violent “Django Unchained,” was titled “DJesus Uncrossed” and depicted a post-resurrection Jesus (played by host Christoph Waltz) slaughtering Roman soldiers with a sword.
“He’s risen from the dead,” the narrator announced. “And he’s preaching anything but forgiveness.”
The skit didn’t go over well with two of America’s oldest and largest retailers—JCPenney and Sears. Both stores decided to pull their advertising from “Saturday Night Live,” according to a press release issued Tuesday by the American Family Association (AFA), an organization which focuses on the social implications of television and media.
The decision came after AFA and its supporters notified both major companies of the show’s recent portrayal of Jesus Christ “as a revenge-seeking murderer is an affront to all people of faith, especially Christians” and subsequently encouraged them to pull their advertising from the show and the show’s website.
“NBC would never do this to any other religious group, but it’s popular in Hollywood circles to go after ‘crazy’ Christians,” Tim Wildman, president of American Family Association, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column.
AFA claims that Sears were apparently the first to pull the advertising plug, but as of last week JCPenney had not responded, prompting Christians around the country to petition the mega-retailer to follow in the footsteps of Sears.
And now it seems they have done just that.
Sears sent a letter to AFA, thanking them for bringing the issue to their attention. A Sears rep told FOX 411 that the company has “taken steps to ensure that our commercials do not air online exactly as they did in this situation.”
JCPenney reps have not spoken about the controversy, but the retailer opted not to advertise on the next ‘SNL’ show and promptly removed their ad from the online version of the controversial episode.
The AFA is now urging supporters to call the headquarters for Sears and JCPenney, or leave a comment on their Facebook pages, thanking them for taking a stand.
“As long as corporations support this kind of offensive material, their sales are going to suffer as shoppers abandon retailers that support blasphemy. I hope folks can reinstate their patronage to these stores and that Sears and JCPenney can stick with the good decisions they have now made,” Wildman added. “When you embrace television programming with no morals, you can’t possibly embrace the public you are trying to sell to.”
Saturday Night Live is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975.
JCPenney and NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. [Fox]