Boycott Boycotting!

Okay, something that you need to know right off the bat: boycotting and protesting by Christians did not cause BOOK OF DANIEL to be pulled off the air. It being a poor quality show that couldn’t sustain the interest of the general viewing public is the root cause.

I know there are many folks out there claiming credit. And it makes me sad. (I remember reading a form letter a while back from a Christian based protest group claiming that their efforts and prayers were directly responsible for the cancellation of a television show – and after only nine seasons! Sigh.)

I am sad because this “success” story will spur on those that derive political and monetary power from organizing such boycotts. I am sad because thousands of my brothers and sisters, who honestly love G-d, will be duped into behavior that hurts the very name Christian.

In case I’m not being clear in tone, I think that organized boycotts by Christians are a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in standing up and being heard. It’s just these organized, highly publicized attack fests that get my goat.

There are three main reasons that I am not a fan: 1) They tend to promote negative aspects of our culture; 2) They don’t work; and 3) I believe they grieve G-d.

Let me tackle number one first, and we will start with a multiple choice quiz:

Mr. Watchdog decides that The Evil Show is morally reprehensible. In response, Mr. Watchdog insists that every media outlet available cover this Evil Show, so that for months every magazine, newspaper, television station and radio is broadcasting to the world that The Evil Show is chock full of R-rated goodies, and will begin airing on such-and-such a date at such-and-such a time on such-and-such a channel. Because of Mr. Watchdog’s actions:

a) Bazillions of people who may have never heard about The Evil Show otherwise will now hold the show in the forefront of their consciousness

b) Bazillions of people will know that this show is the cultural hot spot to watch

c) Bazillions of people will know exactly when and where to tune in

d) Bazillions of people will be driven by curiosity to at least sample the thing

e) The producers of the show will save millions of dollars in publicity and marketing expenses

f) The show will initially do better than if Mr. Watchdog didn’t go on a publicity campaign on The Evil Show’s behalf

g) All of the above

A show (or movie or theatre piece) that is really poor in quality will fail on its own. And a show that is mediocre but not awful can have a healthy run just on this kind of publicity alone.

Man is by nature a curious beast. And when someone points up to the sky, our first instinct is to look. Even if he is saying, “Don’t look!” the fact that he is pointing to the sky draws our attention there.

I remember hearing several sermons protesting LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST when it came out. The gist of the sermons: “This is bad, don’t go see it. We are really upset because they cast a hot actress to play Mary Magdalene, and she runs around nekkid. So don’t go see it, ‘cuz if you do you will see the hot actress nekkid. ‘Cuz she’s nekkid. In the movie. Nekkid.”

Yeah. That really hurt the film.

Tune in later for my take on why boycotts don’t work, and that whole grieving G-d thing.

Just my thoughts,

– Sean

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2 responses to “Boycott Boycotting!”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Okay, something that you need to know right off the bat: boycotting and protesting by Christians did not cause BOOK OF DANIEL to be pulled off the air. It being a poor quality show that couldn’t sustain the interest of the general viewing public is the root cause.I know there are many folks out there claiming credit. And it makes me sad.And there’s a flip side to it that cropped up on KFI’s afternoon drive-time talk show. Show was about the Jihad over the Mohammed cartoons, and one phone-in drew a nasty parallel between that and the “Right Wing Religious Fanatics killing off Book of Daniel. No difference whatsoever.”(And BOD must have been truly awful if the Piss-off-Those-Xians free publicity machine couldn’t save it.)

  2. Anonymous says :

    Same anonymous as above.b) Bazillions of people will know that this show is the cultural hot spot to watch…I’ve been in SF fandom of various sorts for 30 years. Here’s the attitude I’ve heard many times about how to judge the quality of a show/movie/book: “It’s gotta be good. The Christians are denouncing it!”

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