May 24, 2012 3:12 PM
GCB is not renewed for a second season
As a result of low viewership and ratings, ABC announced last week that it would not be renewing the new series GCB for a second season. Considered to be a mockery of Christianity by entertainment consumers concerned about the show’s content and offensive title – an acronym for “Good Christian Bitches” – GCB garnered an average of 5.9 million viewers and 1.9 ratings in the key demographic of adults aged 18-to-49.
GCB followed a recently widowed woman, Amanda Vaughn, who returned to her hometown in Dallas with her two children. Once there, she realized that her high school days of being at the top of the social ladder were over – as the women she used to mock in high school were now in the popular clique and conniving to run her out of town.
With camp and catty themes similar to those found in the popular series Desperate Housewives, GCB depicted women who claimed to hold Christian values but whose lives were far out of alignment with biblical teachings. In addition to the show’s controversial title, GCB blatantly mocked Christians for being hypocritical, manipulative and judgmental – reinforcing superficial stereotypes that have increasingly gained traction in America’s increasingly post-Christian and secular society.
While some defended the show for its humor and intelligence – claiming that it merely poked fun at superficial Christianity and Southerners as opposed to committed, biblically orthodox Christians – critics argued that a similar mockery of Muslims, Jews, African Americans, Latinas, or Lesbians would never be tolerated in today’s politically correct culture.
Even before GCB first aired on March 4, 2012, many Christian organizations were petitioning to have it removed from network television. One group – the American Family Association – stated, “With a title like Good Christian Bitches, you can imagine what kind of show it will be. Even if they change the title, the content will still mock people of faith.” Many other groups said the show was blasphemous and defaming to Christianity.
In response, GCB star Kristen Chenoweth spoke out against the criticisms of the show and said “the show mocks hypocrisy, not true Christianity.” Having grown up in a small southern town singing in her church’s gospel choir, Chenoweth said that GCB was true to the women in her town and that she “wouldn’t do anything that made fun of” her religion.
No matter what one thinks about GCB’s title and content, the controversy over the show offers Faith Driven Consumers an opportunity to more fully consider two important points.
- Firstly, does our behavior align with the standards of integrity taught in Scripture? Or do we give legitimacy to the portrayal of Christians in GCB by modeling to the world around us the hypocrisy and self-centered manipulation of others?
- Secondly, Faith Driven Consumers should pro-actively consider how they steward their time and treasure in the entertainment arena. Are there movies and television or radio shows that are incompatible with your deeply held faith convictions? If so, by your patronage and viewership, are you either directly or indirectly supporting an industry that actively seeks to marginalize Christians as a group and gives viewers a false understanding of what true Christianity is?
Beyond these points, the cancellation of GCB serves as a reminder that Christians who are Faith Driven Consumer are rapidly coalescing as a group and gaining a more unified and powerful voice in the marketplace. As an emerging group of more than 46 million Americans – 15 percent of the population – Faith Driven Consumers increasingly have the confidence to choose entertainment options that align with their values and do not deface the Christian faith.
ABC heard the message loud and clear with GCB. Will other providers in the entertainment industry also get the message?