ABC pilot attracts protests


The American Family Association and the Parents Television Council have both begun to campaign against a program coming to Walt Disney’s ABC Network, despite the fact that as yet not a single piece of content has made it to film. The working title is enough.

The program is being based on a 2008 novel by Kim Gatlin called “Good Christian Bitches.” Although it will not necessarily be the title of the program, and in fact, a report in New York Daily News says it will not be used, it made into the news as the working title, and that is what is causing the uproar.

The book has its own website, and is described thusly: “‘Good Christian Bitches’ is the devilishly fun, yet strikingly honest, tale of Amanda Vaughn, a recently divorced mother of two. To get a fresh start, she moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew up. In an ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents,’ ‘Desperate Housewives’ on steroids style, her old friends are already out to destroy her reputation. In the whirling midst of salacious gossip, Botox, and fraud, Amanda turns to those who love her and the faith she’s always known. Will the Good Christian Bitches get the best of her, or will everyone see that these GCBs are as counterfeit as their travel jewelry?”

American Family Association is getting a petition together to send to Disney in protest. The organization obviously took note of Gatlin’s website, and stated, “It’s a Christian-bashing version of ABC’s current ‘Desperate Housewives.’ The show centers on a recently divorced mother of two who moves back to the affluent neighborhood where she grew up to find herself in the whirling midst of gossip, Botox and fraud. Disney-owned ABC has no reservations about creating hate speech against Christians, but you can be sure they would never consider a show called ‘Good Muslim B-tches’ or ‘Good Jewish B-tches.’ With a title like “Good Christian B-tches,” you can imagine what kind of show it will be. Even if they change the title, the content will still mock people of faith.”

PTC’s Tim Winter joined in, saying, “ABC’s decision is not only an affront to women, it blatantly attacks the world’s largest faith. The ‘B-word’ is toxic and is used to degrade, abuse, harass, bully and humiliate women. And the ‘Christian’ element only adds insult to injury. Regardless of whether the title ultimately makes it to broadcast, ABC has publicly proclaimed its values and it has tarnished the Disney brand.” Winter added that other religions would likely be safe from such tarnishing and asked, “So why the double standard?”

RBR-TVBR observation: The decency watchdogs have always been convinced that they have their fingers on the pulse of America and are entirely qualified to police the airwaves for content. We have always been equally convinced that they do not. We suggest that a quick glance at the Bill of Rights puts the legal foundation of the United States on our side.

The simple fact is that the success or failure of a program is remarkably democratic. If a program does not get enough votes in the form of ratings, the program goes away.

The way AFA and PTC wish to protect their constituents, how ever many they actually have, the best way is to teach them how to make effective use of parental content blocking technology. That way, they can please themselves without imposing their tastes on everybody else. 

Improve the technology? Sure! Improve the ratings? Absolutely! Ban the content? No!

One final comment. For whatever reason, we have never heard of Gatlin’s book, nor were we aware of ABC’s plans to turn it into a television show. Now we and an untold number of other Americans are aware. This is massive free publicity, courtesy of AFA, PTC and any other group jumping on the anti-GCB bandwagon. That’s a pretty good shot in the arm for any new entertainment project. Way to go, watchdogs!