ABC, which is owned by Disney, is scheduled to unleash a show about a priest this fall that already has garnered the league’s concern.
The priest in “Nothing Sacred,” Father Ray (played by Kevin Anderson), is described by Entertainment Weekly as an “irreverent priest who questions the existence of God, feels lust in his heart, and touches people’s souls.” The Tampa Tribune says that the priest “faces a corrupt parish and self-doubt.” From the Orange County Register, we learn that the show stars an “iconoclastic priest with a prodigiously sinning parish.”
Once the league learned of the show, we immediately contacted ABC. We were told that only one show had been cut. But we also received ABC’s promotional statement about “Nothing Sacred.” Here is what it says:
“It’s tough being a priest in the ’90s, just ask Father Ray (Kevin Anderson). In one morning alone, he has nearly been fired for advising a pregnant teenager to follow her own instincts. He has had to turn down a bribe in the confessional, even though he’s desperate for money to keep his church afloat. His college flame has just walked back into his life and reignited old passions. And now his mentor is asking him to deliver a sermon proving the existence of God. How should he know if God exists?…he hasn’t even finished the book yet!
“On a daily basis, Father Ray struggles with sacrificing his own personal goals and desires for a parish that commits every sin in the proverbial book. The truth is, the humanity that makes him susceptible to temptation and self-doubt is the very same humanity that sets him apart as one of the most accessible and loving priests around. He’s been cursed with a God-given gift for touching people’s souls. If only Ray could find God to soothe his soul.”
Here is where you can direct your concerns: Ms. Nellie Hadden, Director of Broadcast Standards & Practices, ABC, 77 West 66th St., New York, New York 10023. You might tell Ms. Hadden that if she believes that the show is not irreverent, then why don’t they substitute a Jewish rabbi or a black minister for Father Ray.