The official trailer for Aaron McGruder’s controversial new comedy Black Jesus has been released, and Christian groups are up in arms. An online petition has been created to have the show pulled before it airs on the Adult Swim network.
The show from The Boondocks creator features an African-American version of Jesus living in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Compton, California.
While some characters trust that the weed-smoking, cursing and crude man is actually Jesus, others doubt he is who he says he is.
The trailer shows snippets of his wild antics as he asks his neighbors if they “have any f*****g faith.”
He is also seen performing miracles throughout the neighborhood and having some violent run-ins with some questionable characters.
In the midst of performing miracles, he is also seen dealing with requests for winning lottery tickets and trying to fend off gang bangers in the neighborhood.
While some fans of McGruder’s work are excited for the show to hit small screens, Christian-based activist group One Million Moms and Pastor David A. Rodgers of the House of Prayer for All Nations Ministries in Chicago find the show to be incredibly offensive and shameful.
“We, the Christian community are vehemently opposed and violently offended at this upcoming program soon to air on your channel called, ‘BLACK JESUS,’” Rodgers wrote in an open letter to Adult Swim on his Facebook page. “The level of disrespect aimed at the depiction of our Lord and Savior is inexcusable. We are hard pressed to find any value in this program, its message or its purpose.”
The letter went on to warn Adult Swim that the pastor and his congregation are prepared to “launch a mass campaign and boycott” of the entire channel and any advertisers that are associated with the channel.
A petition on Change.org has been garnering signatures and reached more than 3,500 as of Sunday morning.
Others have slammed the show as being racist in the way it depicts the Black community.
One commenter on the petition described the show as “racist” and “beyond disgusting.”
With The Boondocks also being known for its controversial content, McGruder is no stranger to getting backlash. The animated series was known for ruffling feathers. In 2005, McGruder admitted that he can never quite guess what will offend people and what won’t.
“I’ve never been able to predict what people are going to get mad at,” he said. “I’ve tried, and I’ve always been surprised.”
McGruder has not responded to the Black Jesus petition, but Adult Swim has shown no signs of pulling the show prior to its Aug. 7 premiere date.