CATHOLICS RIPPED ON SITCOMS AND DRAMAS
Catalyst January/February Issue 2000
In mid-December, within the space of three days, three network television shows featured lines that were offensive to Catholics.
In the December 13 episode of the CBS sitcom, “Becker,” there was a segment about a Christmas pageant that revolved around Joseph and Mary. Dr. Becker, played by Ted Danson, at one point told the man dressed as Joseph, “You told the ‘Virgin Mary’ she had a nice ass, didn’t you?”
In the December 13 episode of the NBC show, “Suddenly Susan,” employees were complaining about their Christmas party. “These drinks are totally watered down,” said one character. To which it was said, “I get a better buzz during Communion.”
In the December 15 episode of the NBC show, “West Wing,” the subject was hate crime legislation. A discussion took place about the murder of a gay man in the mid-west by three young men. “They made him say Hail Marys as they beat him to death,” said a character. She then commented how this crime was really about “racism, or sexism or anti-Semitism or homophobia that are only the tip of the iceberg of the pathology troubling this country.”
The Catholic League told the media “all of these attacks were done intentionally and were timed to offend at Christmastime.”