Adult Swim Adds “Black Jesus” To Lineup — But At What Cost?
“Black Jesus” creator Aaron McGruder is also behind the animated series “The Boondocks.” (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)Adult Swim just added the show “Black Jesus” to their lineup. Because religion is always a highly controversial topic, the show is sure to cause a stir among believers, especially considering the series has also taken on the issue of race. “Adult Swim has green-lighted a half-hour live-action series called Black Jesus, created by The Boondocks’ Aaron McGruder,” Vulture reported on March 11. “Gerald ‘Slink’ Johnson (Lamar in Grand Theft Auto V) will star as Jesus Christ, a present-day Compton resident spreading messages of love and kindness with the help of his apostles.” Back in 2005, “The Boondocks” premiered with an opening line which stated, “Jesus was black, Ronald Reagan was the devil, and the government is lying about 9/11.” Foreshadowing, perhaps? Although the concept of a series about Jesus traveling town and spreading love and kindness seems to be quite the positive idea, “Black Jesus” could be taking things too far. Poking fun at any religion is inappropriate and will almost always lead to backlash. For believers, Jesus is the Lord and Savior, a man who died on the cross to allow them into heaven — not some cheesy late-night character in Compton, Calif., and painting him as such, regardless of the race issue, is completely disrespectful. And not just that. The series is also sending a message to people that Jesus is a fictional character, which according to Christians, is far from the truth. Speaking in regard to the majority of Christian-based religion, Jesus is God’s son. Anyone wanting to get into heaven must be approved by Jesus. On Earth, he was a do-gooder and miracle worker, traveling the world to spread God’s love. Once he died and rose again, he took his place next to God, where he remains. This is a topic that is so, so sacred to believers, and turning that into a TV show, which makes a joke out of Jesus, crosses a line. As for the issue of race, Jesus is thought of as a white man, with brown hair and brown eyes. When it comes to the Biblical description of Jesus, there isn’t a lot available (aside from two verses in Revelation which speak of his “bronze” appearance), but judging by the location in which he was born, many have considered him to be Palestinian. Either way, making him a race that hasn’t appeared in any sort of historical description is a risky move. Would it be okay to turn a historical black figure into a white man for a comedy? How about “White Martin Luther King?” Would that not be disrespectful? Or perhaps “Asian Princess Diana?” I just don’t think it’s right to make a mockery of such an important part of world history. “Black Jesus” is set to premiere later this year. Find Lindsay on Google+