Can you remember the last time you saw someone wearing a cross or identified as a Christian in a movie or TV show and they weren’t portrayed as either gangbangers, bigots, homophobes, pedophiles or blithering idiots? Or when Jesus’ name was mentioned and it wasn’t used as an expletive?
Neither can I.
Christians make up the overwhelming majority of the North American population, which means Christians also make up the largest potential consumers of Hollywood’s products.
Bottom line: it’s good business for Hollywood to court Christians.
It’s not exactly hard to attract Christian eyeballs and dollars either. Creating protagonists who aren’t brooding, morally ambiguous, profanity-spewing, sexually abusive/promiscuous, dirt bags is a great place to start. Characters that love their families, shun criminal activity, and know the difference between right and wrong are the bee’s knees in our playbook.
And Hollywood, you need to hear this; really, hear and understand this:
Not everyone wants to see brutal murders, sickly-sweet romances, or robots flying around in spaceships. That’s why Horror, Romantic Comedies, and Science-Fiction are all genres unto themselves. Even Christian movies, which represent the declared beliefs of more than 3/4 of the North American population, are confined to their own genre.
Movies and TV shows that deal heavily with sexuality need to be their own genre. It’s the job of parents to introduce the complex topics like human sexuality their children, not yours, and sexuality is literally shoehorned into everything from superhero shows to sitcoms to science-fiction these days.
And let’s be clear: It’s not about hate or intolerance or ignorance, it’s about taste. No matter how much you want the average Joe to unconditionally accept anything and everything anyone chooses to do with their naughty bits as ‘normal and healthy,’ it’s never going to happen. For roughly 97% of the population, topics of sexuality are simply unappealing. And your job is to be appealing to the broadest possible audience, not promote an agenda.
Tell good stories. Make things go boom. Show good dropkicking evil. And if you absolutely must dip your toes into politics or sexuality, don’t force everyone to sit through it while we’re waiting for something fun to happen.
So, get on it, Hollywood. You have nothing to lose, and tons (of shiny gold coins for your money bins) to gain.