Zero tolerance for religious sense of humour
Well no surprise that Americans didn’t appreciate the sense of humour displayed by Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. He made swipes at Charlie Sheen for liking alcohol too much, Hugh Hefner for liking 24-year-old women too much and scientologists for disliking gays too much. What caused the most outrage however, was his closing remark.
“Thank for everyone in the room for being good sports, to NBC and the Hollywood foreign press, thank you for watching at home, and thank you God for making me an atheist.”
By the following day, NBC had received dozens of complaints from all over the United States. The Corpus Christi group in Texas wanted to know why the blasphemy had not been bleeped out. The reason, apparently, is that organisers did not believe they would have to warn a professional presenter about being disrespectful to God in a family show being broadcast on the Sabbath. They were completely thrown by the remark, which on the European side of the Atlantic would not have raised an eyebrow. Many Americans are very touchy about religion and it can trigger fights with an almost zero tolerance policy.
The sensitive subject of religion in the US is also responsible for a premium advertisement being rejected for airing during the Super Bowl. The JESUShatesOBAMA.com website, a shop for selling products bearing the slogan “Jesus hates Obama”, created a video with bobbling head miniatures of Jesus and Obama. The frowning Jesus grins after Obama falls into water. It’s hardly blasphemy and you can see it on their website, but it was enough for Fox to ban the advert and in so doing generate even more leads for the online store. Seemingly the store has made enough money from selling these products to persuade a Venture Capitalist to fund the advertisement. A 30 second advertising slot during the Super Bowl costs around $30 million. Well as the TV evangelists know, “There’s money in religion.”