Sears and JC Penney cave to the AFA and pull ads from SNL.

Recently SNL did a hilarious skit that put Jesus in a Quentin Tarantino-like trailer.  This prompted the American Family Association to complain and two companies, Sears and JC Penney, pulled their ads from SNL.

Two major retailers have apologized or removed their ads after receiving complaints about a “Saturday Night Live” skit about “Jesus” returning from the dead as a vengeful murderer, says a traditional-values group.

“We applaud Sears and JCPenney for their wise action to stop funding damaging material such as the skit that mocked our Lord Jesus Christ on ‘Saturday Night Live,’” Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (AFA) said Tuesday.

Damaging?  How was it damaging?  Can we see a bill for these damages?

Just last year the AFA was all over JC Penney because JC Penney dared to have a lesbian (who is one of the most popular people in the country) as its spokesperson.  JC Penney did the right thing there and told them to take a hike, so I’m not sure why JCP is caving here.

And when people boycotted Chick-Fil-A, that was “economic terrorism designed to terrify people.”  But when the AFA leans on a company, that’s great because…Jesus.  Of course, if religious people were consistent, there’d be no religious people.

Thanks to commenter Yoav for bringing this to my attention.  It turns out that the AFA was doing some of that lying for Jesus in their press release.

In what appears to be a textbook case of companies dancing around a protest campaign organized by a special interest group, the companies, Sears and J.C. Penney, have made arrangements to avoid placing any ads adjacent to online replays of the sketch in question, but that will not affect any commercials in the television version of “SNL.”

That is not exactly how the situation was described in a news release issued Tuesday by the American Family Association, a longtime activist group that monitors television programming and starts occasional advertiser boycotts to protest content it deems offensive. The release announced that the companies had “responded to the A.F.A. by pulling their advertising from NBC’s show, ‘Saturday Night Live.’”

But J.C. Penney does not advertise in the television show, according to Kate Coultas, the senior manager of media relations for the company. And Sears, which does occasionally run commercials in “SNL,” never promised the American Family Association to stop doing so, and the protest by the group will have no impact on its plans to advertise in the show in the future, according to an executive at the company. Because of the sensitivity of dealing with groups that can threaten to start consumer boycotts, the executive asked not to be identified.


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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    Hypocrites for Christ?

    • Dan Marshall

      You can just say “christians”. It’s shorter. ;)

      • Charlie

        I prefer “Christianists”.

        • baal

          I agree that the AFA are christian_-ists. That ending has grown a special meaning from its use with Islam (adherant of a religion). Islamist (with the ending) isn’t just interested in practicing the religion but in using a range of methods (broader than one normal applies in civil society and includes bully squads, public shaming, use of hate rhetoric, and the ever popular bombings) to ensure Islam replaces as much as life and in as many ways as possible.
          The AFA are doing the same thing with christianity. You’re not allowed (according to the AFA) to use any argument that the AFA doesn’t approve of. You’re also not allowed to do a number of big and small things (selection of spokes people) w/o the AFA getting bent out of joint. Normally, the question of which spokes model a company employes isn’t a religious matter. The AFA are christianists.
          Now – having defined the term and showed two examples, can you think of other -ists who don’t want to just practice but want everyone else to do it too and use hateful means to their ends?

  • Art Vandelay

    Plus, that skit is clearly mocking Tarantino for his penchant for turning everything into Bloodsport. Maybe they think it was mocking JC because it portrayed him as a white dude?

    • Glodson

      Nah, they are all about White Jesus.

  • Howard

    Jesus! I just started shopping at JC’s again. Somewhat hypocritical of them, so I’ll vote with my shoes.

  • Yoav

    I know it must be come as a shock to most of you here but it seem the AFA’s press release may not have been 100% factual.

    • Glodson

      Hold on!


      The AFA wasn’t completely honest!

      I’m shocked.

      • Art Vandelay

        What will we tell the children?

        • Glodson

          The same thing I tell me daughter.

          The AFA is full of shit.

  • Xovvo

    …but wasn’t Jesus actually going to come back and murder everyone, or is Revalations not considered canon anymore?

    • Glodson

      You know how bad flame wars can get with canon in comics? It is worse when different denominations argue over Revelations.

      Most of the fundie types believe in Revelations, and the whole Jesus murder thing. The bigger disagreement among them is about if the Rapture is pre or post tribulations. Other sects forget the entire book of Revelations.

  • Dorothy

    It seems unfortunate to me that, in a blog post which complains about the AFA being ‘misleading’ (lying) in its announcement, the title of your blog post is ‘misleading’ (lying).

    Perhaps you could consider retitling it along these lines:
    ” ‘AFA claims Sears and JC Penney cave and pull SNL ads’ – Not Exactly “