NBC has picked up the hit Christian-themed CG series VeggieTales but creator Phil Visher wasn't too happy when he heard the networks plans for the show.
In order to comply with the normal broadcast standards, NBC will be editing out religious content from the episodes. Historical and Biblical references to God are allowed but any non-historical references to God, Jesus or the Bible will be taken out, including Bob the Tomato's tagline "Remember kids, God made you special and He loves you very much!" which ends every episode.
It was only two weeks before airdate that the network told Vischer about the cuts. Vischer says that had he known such edits would take place, he would not have agreed to let the networks air the show. "I would have declined partly because I knew a lot of fans would feel like it was a sellout or it was done for money," he explains.
Still, Vischer adds that he understands NBC's wish to remain religiously neutral, commenting, "VeggieTales is religious, NBC is not. I want to focus people more on 'Isn't it cool that Bob and Larry are on television.'"
VeggieTales is a series of 30 minute, computer animated DVDs created by BigIdea Productions in 1993. The series has about thirty releases, a feature film (Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie) and has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.
Anyone who has seen this show knows that the show is made for a Christian audience and the main teaching relies on Christian fundamentals. Taking out those references will strip the show of what it is.
Initially, I was mad when I first read this. I am not a fan of editing of any kind and as a Christian I am so tired of the oppression that we get on a daily basis. But then I thought about it some more. Censoring the religious content of this show is the same as censoring the any un-PC content of vintage Warner Brothers or Disney cartoons of racial stereotypes and my view on this is the same as the smoking issue I wrote about a few weeks back. The networks have a responsibility to show suitable content to their child audiences so if the fan or collector wants to see uncut episodes then they should buy the DVDs.
Read the whole article HERE.