The American Family Association successfully petitioned Sears and JCPenney to pull their advertising from Saturday Night Live after the show mocked Jesus in a sketch called DJesus Uncrossed.
The comedy show's Feb. 16 episode spoofed the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained by showing a post-resurrection Jesus brandishing a sword and slaughtering Roman soldiers. The voice-over intoned, “He’s risen from the dead. And he’s preaching anything but forgiveness.”
AFA contacted Sears and JCPenney after the sketch aired, telling the chain stores the depiction of Jesus “as a revenge-seeking murderer is an affront to all people of faith, especially Christians.” The group asked the companies to remove their advertising from both the show and its website.
“NBC would never do this to any other religious group, but it’s popular in Hollywood circles to go after ‘crazy’ Christians,” said AFA President Tim Wildman.
Sears withdrew its advertising almost immediately, going so far as to send a thank-you note to the AFA. JCPenney hesitated, but joined with Sears when Christians started petitioning them to do just that.
Sears issued a statement that they had “taken steps to ensure that our commercials do not air online exactly as they did in this situation." JCPenney will not advertise on the next SNL show, and the chain also removed any advertising that was set to run online with the Djesus episode.
Wildman is encouraging those who support AFA’s move to thank Sears and JCPenney by calling their headquarters or writing them on Facebook. He said:
As long as corporations support this kind of offensive material, their sales are going to suffer as shoppers abandon retailers that support blasphemy. I hope folks can reinstate their patronage to these stores and that Sears and JCPenney can stick with the good decisions they have now made. When you embrace television programming with no morals, you can’t possibly embrace the public you are trying to sell to.