'Saturday Night Live': Sears pulls online ads from Jesus sketch
SNL‘s trailer for Djesus Uncrossed, a fake historical revenge fantasy starring Christoph Waltz as a vindictive Jesus Christ, is more of a Tarantino send-up than a spoof of Christianity. But that hasn’t stopped faith-based groups like the American Family Association from expressing outrage about the sketch, and as a result of their urging, one advertiser has asked its commercials be moved from online showings of Djesus. Here’s the two-minute short that has stoked so much ire:
The AFA began railing against the sketch shortly after it aired Feb. 16. On Tuesday, the group sent out a press release saying that both JCPenney and Sears had pulled their advertising from Saturday Night Live after receiving numerous complaints about Djesus Uncrossed. “As long as corporations support this kind of offensive material, their sales are going to suffer as shoppers abandon retailers that support blasphemy,” AFA president Tim Wildman told Fox News. “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.”
The press release’s information, however, wasn’t entirely accurate, according to reps from Sears and JCPenney. (It also seems to have disappeared from the AFA’s online media hub.)
JCPenney told the New York Times that it doesn’t advertise on SNL‘s broadcast shows in the first place, and added to the Huffington Post that its “media buying plans do not include this specific show rebroadcast.” Meanwhile, an unnamed source at Sears told the Times that the AFA’s campaign against SNL will not affect its plans to advertise on future broadcasts.
Sears, however, did ask that its ads be moved from online showings of the sketch, according to this statement issued to EW: “We received customer feedback about our ads running on NBC.com and Hulu in a rotation with other advertisers around the online rebroadcast of that particular SNL episode. We informed customers that it wasn’t supposed to happen, and while going forward we may advertise on the broadcast, we’ve taken steps to ensure that our commercials do not air online exactly as they did in this situation.”
JCPenney has not yet responded to EW’s request for comment. NBC had no comment on the controversy. AFA simply referred EW to its press release.