PROTEST OF “NOTHING SACRED” SETS NEW RECORD
Catalyst November Issue 1997, Front Page
The Catholic League’s boycott of the sponsors of the ABC show, “Nothing Sacred,” has already broken all previously-held boycott records for TV. Twenty major corporations have pulled sponsorship of the show, something no other organization has ever come close to doing. In addition, another quarter-million persons have signed the league’s petition, bringing to 750,000 the number of Americans who have petitioned Disney to drop the show.
Thus far, the following corporate sponsors have stopped advertising on the show: Isuzu, Weight Watchers, K-Mart, Benckiser, DuPont, Red Lobster, Ocean Spray, Sears, AT&T, Glaxo Wellcome, Ponderosa, Dunkin’ Donuts, Scott’s Liquid Gold, Chrysler-Plymouth, Honda, Arm & Hammer, Home Depot, Borden, Alberto Culver and Montgomery Ward.
Interestingly, Chrysler-Plymouth appeared as a sponsor on the October 2 episode of “Nothing Sacred” in the New York City (WABC) and Boston (WCVB) markets, though no one from the automobile company authorized any such ad. An investigation by Chrysler-Plymouth determined that the ABC affiliates in New York and Boston “erred” in placing the ads; an apology was quickly forthcoming from the affiliates.
A total of 32 Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim organizations have joined the Catholic League in the boycott. In addition to those listed in the last issue ofCatalyst, the following eight organizations have joined: Catholic Central Union, Catholic Coalition for Truth, Catholics United for the Faith, Christian Action Network, Dove Foundation, National Association of Black Catholics, National Cops for Life and Pro-Ecclesia Foundation.
“Nothing Sacred” may be popular with the critics (they almost uniformly labeled it the best new show on TV), but it’s a flop with the public. The ratings for the first month are in and “Nothing Sacred” is on the bottom of all the prime time shows on the four major networks.
The league’s efforts have been so strong that Disney/ABC has struck back with pledges to energize their side against us. “There will be a significant response to the Catholic League,” said co-executive producer of the show, David Manson. “We tried to be polite about their rhetoric, and perhaps that was a mistake. You will see a mobilized effort of support on behalf of the show,” he added.
Reporters have told us that Disney does not want to pull the show for fear of allowing the Catholic League the opportunity to claim victory. However, many have said it’s already too late to say otherwise.