NBC opts to cut crucifixion scene from Madonna concert

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Following pressure from Christian groups accusing NBC of a double standard, NBC has decided to cut the crucifixion scene from a November broadcast of a concert from Madonna’s “Confessions” tour, according to the Associated Press in an article also picked up by Billboard magazine Oct. 20.

NBC did not say why they decided to cut the scene, but a spokesperson said they will use images from other cameras while Madonna is mounted on a mirrored cross during the first part of the song “Live to Tell,” AP reported. The network only said in a statement that the song has been revised for the broadcast special.

Several Christian groups had threatened to boycott one of the concert’s sponsors if the cross scene aired on NBC, especially in light of the network’s decision to censor biblical messages from its Saturday morning broadcasts of the popular Christian-themed children’s cartoon “VeggieTales.”

“NBC did the right thing, but the fact that it did not say why the offensive part of Madonna’s concert was cut shows cowardice,” Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said in an Oct. 19 news release. “What NBC should have done is to admit that since it refused to air the Danish cartoons that Muslims objected to earlier this year, it felt obliged not to treat Christians in a discriminatory manner.”

Donohue had noted in a Sept. 20 letter to Bob Wright, vice president and executive officer of NBC Universal, that NBC Nightly News had chosen not to show in full the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that offended Muslims worldwide in February.

Don Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, said more than 750,000 AFA supporters e-mailed NBC asking for the crucifixion scene to be deleted from the concert special, and others called their local NBC stations to complain.

“Those stations contacted NBC and the network listened,” Wildmon said Oct. 19 in an e-mail to supporters. “The scene is gone!”

Other conservative groups that voiced opposition to the crucifixion scene in Madonna’s concert include the Parents Television Council, the Traditional Values Coalition and the Christian Film and Television Commission.

Madonna, in a statement last month, said the scene “is not a mocking of the church” and “is neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous.” She also said the depiction is similar to a person wearing a cross as a necklace.

Compiled by Erin Roach.

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