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SNL targeted with boycott over Jesus sketch March 20, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Saturday Night Live is no stranger to controversy. The sketch comedy show stretched the limits of acceptability yet again recently with a spoof on Quentin Tarantino films. Mocking the film maker and his tendency to be creative with history, SNL “announced” a new film about Jesus returning after his resurrection to seek revenge on Roman soldiers. The American Family Association, a conservative group focusing on social implications of mass media, called on advertisers to boycott the show. Both JC Penney and Sears announced that it would pull ads for the foreseeable future.

Will the boycott on SNL work? Yahoo’s Gloria Goodale says it’s unlikely. Such boycotts were called after controversial incidents involving Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Disney, and many others. As Goodale wrote, “Such campaigns seldom lead a media outlet to drop a show, nor is there evidence that they cause the content of such shows to become more tempered, say media analysts. What they often do achieve, however, is a spirited discussion about a particular issue or even about free speech rights – at least in America.”

To see SNL’s clip yourself, watch it here.

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is the relationship between censorship and boycotts?

2.  Was SNL’s sketch worthy of a boycott?

3.  Assuming that the boycott against SNL does not accomplish its goal, what kind of conversation could it spark?

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