J.C. – Comedy Central shows its arse

By Michael Vass | May 7, 2010

Viacom is a major television cable network. They own B.E.T., VH1, MTV, Comedy Central and various other television properties. In each of the cable channels 3 things are common: African Americans are regularly mocked, Christians are mocked, Muslims are avoided.

Sumner Redstone is the real power behind the scenes at the network. He is the voice that dictates new programming, and much of what does or does not hit the airwaves as he is the majority shareholder of the company. So these attitudes would seem to reflect his beliefs. That may be an incorrect assumption, but it is one I am making in my opinion.

Thus the question has to be asked why Redstone, via Viacom, has no problem insulting tens of millions of African Americans and Christians almost daily, yet seemingly cowers when Muslims are involved?

The latest testament of Viacom’s views is news that it is in development talks to launch a new television show called J.C. That stands for Jesus Christ. The storyline is as follows

“JC” is one of 23 potential series the network said it has in development. It depicts Christ as a “regular guy” who moves to New York to “escape his father’s enormous shadow.”

His father is presented as an apathetic man who would rather play video games than listen to his son talk about his new life, according to Comedy Central’s thumbnail sketch of the idea.”

God is apethetic? HE plays video games? Jesus just wants to be a regular guy? I’m not religious but that sounds somewhat insulting to me.

Before I go forward, I believe in the 1st Amendment. The question is not the Right of Viacom and Comedy Central to create or televise this show. The question is the message that Viacom and Comedy Central are promoting via the nature of the programs it promotes. When a company mass markets degredation, insults, and mockery of specific groups routinely, you start to wonder why they are doing it.

Comedy Central long ago made it clear that making fun of Christians is fine. Viacom has probably had a great laugh promoting Flava of Love on VH1, and Hot Ghetto Mess on B.E.T. Which are just 2 of a slew of programs that could be mentioned. There is no question of how the corporation views African Americans and Chrisitians. Thank you Sumner Redstone.

But considering how timidly the company acts when it comes to Muslims, I wonder what the difference is? Is it because Redstone is Muslim? Not to my knowledge. Is it because he values the money generated by Muslims on his corporation? African Americans are the largest consumer by buying power in the nation and that never stopped them from the years of degrading programs on multiple networks they control. So is he afraid of Muslims? It would seem so.

But is Viacom afraid of the corporation being destroyed by some radical nutjob? It’s not a very realistic fear. The lunatic fringe tends to target the person directly in charge of whatever offense flips their switch. Thus the threats against Matt Stone and Trey Parker, not the camera guys. Perhaps Sumner Redstone fears that the lunatic fringe will target him, since he directs so much of the direction of the company.

Whatever the reasoning it makes me sick. Not because Viacom, via Comedy Central, is making fun of Christians but because they are isolating them as targets of persecution. Much in the way corproate policy towards the depiction of African Americans has been consistently degrading and nearly exclusive from what can be seen. Some might even call such attitudes racially and religiously biased.

Let’s not take this to the dumb PC realm where there has to be a show mocking every religion and person of color (or without color) just because of any one show picking on 1 group. I’m neither advocating more wanting a White, Hispanic, and Black version of say Jersey Shore (though they do sort of exist). I don’t want to see even more music videos with barely clothed women of every race gyrating all day long (well sort of I do, but you get the point). Shows need not be created just to perpetuate and reinforce stereotypes on every group known to man.

At the same time a bit of decency and moral fortitude would be nice. Perhaps a bit less of the blatant taking advantage of the Black cultures penchant to support all things Black because of the dearth of options. Perhaps if you won’t mock one religious figure you don’t mock any of them? Is that so much to ask for?

Sumner Redstone, as the top dog of Viacom, loves money. Which is fine. It’s just that he loves to make it selectively picking groups to mock and degrade. That’s not American, or at least not what we are supposed to be about in the 21st century. J.C. is just one more reason that Viacom is a company I try never to support in any manner.

Sumner Redstone may have no problem picking on African Americans, Chrisitians and others that it would seem he has issue with. Viacom may be more than happy to follow that lead in an unwritten corporate mission statement. And Viacom may be too cowardly to stand by that corporate conviction when it’s put to the test. But I won’t help them fund any of it. Will you?

Topics: Black and White, Television | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “J.C. – Comedy Central shows its arse”

  1. Jam37


    Let Viacom know how you feel!!

  2. Chuck

    Excellent job. I am neither Christian nor Black but I am also not a bigot, and I think that exactly describes Viacom.

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