RESTON, VA – As fury spreads, Evangelical leaders have joined a growing chorus that includes Catholic leaders, the Media Research Center (MRC), the Family Research Council (FRC), and the American Family Association (AFA) in a national campaign to pressur
MRC and FRC sent a letter to Ben Sherwood, president of Disney ABC Television Group, nearly eleven weeks ago urging him to shelve the new show, “The Real O’Neals.” Since then, over 9,000 people have made calls and over 20,000 people have sent postcards to the Disney ABC board of directors asking Disney ABC to Cancel Savage. Disney ABC refused even to respond.
On April 21, prominent Catholic leaders joined the national campaign to get ABC to stop production of the new show slated to premiere this fall. Disney ABC were unmoved by Catholic leaders decrying the anti-Catholic hatred coming from this man. Disney ABC still didn’t respond.
“Dan Savage’s brand of hate does not merit a platform on a supposedly pro-family network,” said MRC President Brent Bozell. “Disney ABC’s silence is not going unnoticed by faith and family advocates. That Disney ABC continues to take its viewers for granted is appalling.”
STATEMENTS FROM EVANGELICAL LEADERS
"What does an X-rated gay sex columnist have in common with Walt Disney? Nothing. And that’s exactly the problem. Most Americans have probably never heard of Dan Savage, but unfortunately, that’s all about to change this fall. Despite massive outcry -- thousands of phone calls, emails, and petition signers -- Disney’s ABC is taking its LGBT activism to new lows with plans to bring the controversial Christian-basher to life in a sitcom called The Real O’Neals.
"Savage, whose 'anti-bullying' videos are a favorite of the President’s and Hollywood, has turned out to be the biggest bully of all -- using his platform as an opportunity to ridicule students and curse faith. Lately, though, the militant atheist has taken a break from hurling sexual threats at Republicans to focus on this new fall sitcom, which producers say, 'will follow the younger years of Savage’s life and the experiences of his family following his decision to come out of the closet.'”
--Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
"Gay activist Dan Savage embodies the mainstream 'gay rights' movement, decrying "discrimination" while spewing some of the most hateful and obscene venom. Hollywood likes to pretend it battles against "hate" when, in reality, it regularly churns out race-baiting, anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Life propaganda every day. Why do Christians continue to financially support a media empire like ABC/Disney that flaunts its disdain for our values and beliefs?"
-- Ryan Bomberger, Chief Creative Officer, The Radiance Foundation
“The anti-Christian rhetoric that Dan Savage espouses is not suitable for mainstream America. Giving him such a platform is tantamount to poison for our youth to view. I would never allow my children to watch a network that produces this kind of hateful ‘entertainment’ and I will insist that all Christians boycott ABC/Disney should they continue to pursue this immoral agenda.”
-- Christopher Doyle, Equality And Justice For All and Co-Founder of Voice of the Voiceless
“ABC should not feature Dan Savage for the same reasons they should not feature the Westboro Baptists. They are both perfect examples of how not to have healthy public discourse. No one should purposely encourage their brand of hate, intolerance, and incivility.”
--Joseph Backholm, Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington
“It is beyond disappointing that the Walt Disney Company is promoting Dan Savage in any way. During the 2000 presidential primaries, Savage joined my campaign under false pretenses. He later bragged about efforts to deliberately infect my staff with the flu by licking cups, pens, office equipment and doorknobs. He was also convicted of voter fraud for illegally registering and voting in the Iowa caucuses.
“Since then he has continued to demean and harass men and women of faith, routinely making comments that would result in large fines if broadcast on air. Dan Savage is a supreme example of the very intolerance he claims to oppose. Disney should not be giving a platform to such bigotry.”
--Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values
"Loosely based on Dan Savage’s life, ‘The Real O’Neals’ will glorify and highlight an anti-Christian bully who has nothing but disrespect for Christians and Christian principles. Savage, one of the cruelest, most vile political activists in America, has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite Savage’s extremism, vulgarity and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is planning to feature a man who has done nothing but bash Christians and bash the Bible. Parents must stand up to Disney ABC and tell them their kids will not be subject to an anti-Christian bully."
--Monica Cole, Director, One Million Moms
“ABC continues to be a top network in terms of viewership. The fact that ABC, which is owned by the Disney/ABC Television Group, would promote the grotesque vulgarity propagated by Mr. Savage, strains credulity and further compromises what remains of Disney’s credibility. We urge Disney/ABC to reject ‘The Real O’Neals’ and commit itself to providing entertainment that is moral and family friendly.”
--Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary and former president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
“Why Disney ABC would want to air such a program is without reason or excuse. Because of programs like this, children are losing their childhoods and being used as pawns to promote social experiments for sexuality and gender confusion. How can any child grow up not being confused when we take away healthy role models?”
--Regina Griggs, Executive Director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)
“Dan Savage is well-know for his hate-filled and despicable foul mouth. ABC should not provide a platform for a man who wishes death to people merely because they disagree with his hate. If ABC continues with Dan Savage we will assume that ABC endorses hate and death to the majority of decent Americans. When we think of ABC we will associate this network with the hate spewed by Dan Savage.”
--Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
“The fact that Disney ABC would even consider airing a program based on the life of someone who openly mocks Christianity is astounding and shameful. Our nation’s moral compass has been discarded by too many. We urge Disney ABC to do the right thing by pulling this program that denigrates the faith on which our country was founded.”
--Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors Network
“More and more, we are seeing not simply the open rejection of Christianity but an open mockery of God and his word. For any television network to promote a program based on the life of someone whose brand is making fun of Christians and of the Christian faith is something we as Americans and as Christians simply should not stand for. If Disney ABC moves forward in airing this program, the network will have established itself as an enemy to people of faith nationwide. I urge Disney ABC to reverse its course and pull this offensive program.”
--Dr. Alex McFarland, Religion and Culture Expert and Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University.
Dan Savage has made numerous vulgar comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:
· Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “fucking the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum
· Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bullshit in the Bible”
· Saying that “the only thing that stands between my dick and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage
· Promoting marital infidelity
· Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”
· Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all fucking dead”
· Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my dick. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my dick and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.”