27 September, 2006

Veggie Tales/NBC Saga Revisited

When I last spoke of our Veggie friends, I was spitting nails over the news reports that indicated that NBC was censoring the shows to remove all mentions of God that were not in a historical context. Reading the news story that I found on Fox News as well as NewsMax and other places, it sounded very much like NBC had pulled the wool over the eyes of the folks at Big Idea, who produce Veggie Tales. In those news articles, Phil Vischer, the creater of VeggieTales is quoted as saying had he known this was going to happen he would not have signed the contract. Now it seems we may in fact need our friend "Sheerluck Holmes" (pictured above) to get to the bottom of this whole thing.

Yesterday, one of my church members forwarded to me a news released issued by Big Idea which contradicts the statements that are attributed to Phil Visher. They indicate that they went into this contract with their eyes wide open to the editing process, but they felt like this was a wonderful way to introduce Bob, Larry and the gang to a whole new venue of children that might otherwise never have heard of them. The hope is that these kids would fall in love with the Veggie gang and then want their own DVD's, books, etc of the Veggie characters, and thus they will hear the Gospel message of a God who loves them. I applaud Big Idea for this. They are correct, in my opinion, for taking this step forward which I believe will lead to countless other children, as well as parents, hearing about the love of God. I cannot say it loudly enough... great going Big Idea!
I have to say though, it really bothers me that these contradicting statements are being made. They all need to get on the same page. I have my theory as to why the contradicting statements, but I will not write about them, because it is merely speculation.

As to NBC...
I am still greatly troubled by their editing policies. It is an attack on Christianity. There are TV shows and movies on the tube almost daily that sing praise to Allah, and these are not censored. The same network (NBC) is preparing to show a Madona concert in which she mocks the crucifixion of our Lord, as she wears a crown of thorns and hangs on a cross. I do not understand and can in no way justify the censoring of the phase "God loves you" while they repeatedly air the phrase, "Allah be praised" and allow this mockery of our religious beliefs. I can promise you that if they dared try to air something mocking Mohammad or Allah, there would be an outcry heard that would shake the foundations of NBC.

Again... thank God for the opportunity that exists with Veggie Tales... but I still believe that we Christians should be making our voices heard loud and clear about the way our religious freedoms are being stripped away, while others are not.

(Below is the release from Big Idea)

VeggieTales & NBC -- What's the Big Idea?
VeggieTales on TV? People are asking questions ...

Two weeks ago, VeggieTales made its debut on national television. After 13 years and 50 million videos sold, many people are familiar with Bob & Larry and their brand of "Sunday Morning Values, Saturday Morning Fun!" But putting VeggieTales on TV has got some people asking, "Hey, what's the big idea?"

Some think that because of its teaching of Judeo-Christian values, VeggieTales should not be allowed on TV -- or at least should be restricted to a time slot or channel for religious programming. Others feel that VeggieTales should be on TV and in the exact same format that is familiar to millions of families. Well, VeggieTales is on TV and is not in the same format as the DVDs -- and that's created a bit of a stir! Keep reading to hear how this all happened.
When we were presented with the opportunity to reach a mass television audience, we knew that certain religious references would not be allowed on a children's block under current TV network guidelines. And we recognized that we were not going to change the rules of network television overnight.

In light of this, "Can Big Idea continue to fulfill its mission of enhancing the spiritual and moral fabric of society through creative media?" became the question we had to answer. Can VeggieTales make a difference on Saturday morning? We think so.

Recognizing that we are making a difference to Saturday morning TV by bringing programming that is "absent of bad and has a presence of good" to homes across America, would we still prefer to air the un-edited versions of VeggieTales on TV? Absolutely! It's there where we're able to share a Bible verse and encourage kids by telling them God made them special and He loves them very much. For now, we're hoping a new cross section of kids will fall in love with Bob & Larry, go deeper into VeggieTales and eventually fall in love with the God who made them. It's the same "big idea" we've worked on for over 13 years.
We are grateful for the overwhelming support from our fans that have grown up watching VeggieTales. Many of you have written to cheer us on -- we appreciate you! If the television ratings are any indication, we are finding a new audience of children who are enjoying our shows and hearing our message for the first time! Our thanks to NBC for helping bring VeggieTales to this new audience.
We proudly continue to serve the Christian community in many ways, including hundreds of books published, a 52-week Sunday School curriculum, our soon-to-be-released Bible storybook, and a continuing Vacation Bible School program. This November, Gideon: Tuba Warrior, a VeggieTales adventure based on the legendary biblical story of Gideon, releases on DVD. Please know our commitment to introducing kids to God continues.
We would love to hear from you -- please write us at VeggieTV@BigIdea.com! If you approve of your comment being posted on our Web site, please indicate this in your email. Both the good and the bad will be posted. We will post your excerpt, first name, city and state only. All posted comments can be seen at BigIdea.com/TVcomments.
Your Friends at Big Idea

1 comment:

michigan preacher said...

Ya know, I saw VeggieTales that first Saturday they aired. I noticed the absense of God. Now that I have had some time to think about it, I think that they are doing it right. Many more kids will fall for Bob and Larry, and their parents will get them the DVDs. Hey, they don't even need to go to a Christian bookstore to get them now! I see them at Meijer and Kroger.

I am glad to see Big Idea using this opportunity to be salt and light.