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NBC Edits God out of VeggieTales

My kids love VeggieTales. I love VeggieTales. So imagine my happiness when I learned that NBC started airing VeggieTales on Saturday mornings. I should have known it was too good to be true. The network edited out some references to God so that VeggieTales would "comply with the network's broadcast standards."

"VeggieTales" creator Phil Vischer, who was responsible for readying episodes for network broadcast, said he didn't know until just weeks before the shows were to begin airing that nonhistorical references to God and the Bible would have to be removed.

Had he known how much he'd have to change the show - including Bob and Larry's tagline, "Remember kids, God made you special, and he loves you very much," that concludes each episode - Vischer said he wouldn't have signed on for the network deal.

"I would have declined partly because I knew a lot of fans would feel like it was a sellout or it was done for money," he said, adding that "there weren't enough shows that could work well without those (religious) references." All programs set to air on NBC must meet the network's broadcast standards, said Alan Wurtzel, a broadcast standards executive.

"VeggieTales" was treated the same as any other program, he said.

"There's a fine line of universally accepted religious values," he said. "We don't get too specific with any particular religious doctrine or any particular religious denomination." Vischer said he understands the network's position.

"'VeggieTales' is religious, NBC is not," he said. "I want to focus people more on 'Isn't it cool that Bob and Larry are on television."'

Marks said the network is "committed to the positive messages and universal values" of the show and expects "Veggie-

Tales" to continue airing.

But Bozell isn't satisfied.

"If NBC is so concerned about that four-letter-word God, then they shouldn't have taken 'Veg-

gieTales,"' he said. "This just documents the disconnect between Hollywood and the real world."

Yes, it does.

VeggieTales is keeping a positive attitude regarding NBC's editing of the show. Here's a portion of a statement from the VeggieTales website:

When we were presented with the opportunity to reach a mass television audience, we knew that certain religious references would not be allowed on a children's block under current TV network guidelines. And we recognized that we were not going to change the rules of network television overnight.

In light of this, "Can Big Idea continue to fulfill its mission of enhancing the spiritual and moral fabric of society through creative media?" became the question we had to answer. Can VeggieTales make a difference on Saturday morning? We think so.

Too many TV programs introduce kids to amoral and cynical behaviors that parents find unsuitable. Big Idea's VeggieTales, LarryBoy and 3-2-1 Penguins! are instead telling kids it's cool to stand by your principles, to tell the truth, to forgive others and a host of other valuable life lessons.

Recognizing that we are making a difference to Saturday morning TV by bringing programming that is "absent of bad and has a presence of good" to homes across America, would we still prefer to air the un-edited versions of VeggieTales on TV? Absolutely! It's there where we're able to share a Bible verse and encourage kids by telling them God made them special and He loves them very much. For now, we're hoping a new cross section of kids will fall in love with Bob & Larry, go deeper into VeggieTales and eventually fall in love with the God who made them. It's the same "big idea" we've worked on for over 13 years.

Hat tip: Vent with Michelle Malkin


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Comments (8)

Yep, my wife and I are actu... (Below threshold)

Yep, my wife and I are actually kind of torn over this one. We want to support VeggieTales and let Bob and Larry get more exposure but we don't want to support NBC's hypocritical stripping of God and the Bible out of the show while fighting for the right to drop f-bombs.

Best compromise we've been able to come up with is to watch both VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins on another channel when it is shown...we're fortunate that there are two other stations in Atlanta showing the show other than the local NBC station.

Had he known how ... (Below threshold)
Had he known how much he'd have to change the show - including Bob and Larry's tagline, "Remember kids, God made you special, and he loves you very much," that concludes each episode - Vischer said he wouldn't have signed on for the network deal

See boys and girls, here is your first NBC Veggi-Tales lesson.

Which is: Integrity is not always a two-way street.

Oh, and never, ever sign a contract without reading the fine print.

Even without explicit refer... (Below threshold)

Even without explicit references to God and Bible verses, Veggietales is still a very Christian show that is thousands of times better in both values and production than any other show networks peddle to kids these days. It's unfortunate that NBC thinks the American public needs to be protected from any mention of God, but I think this is a good first step.

And hey, even the book of Esther doesn't mention God, either, but the work of His hand is still very much apparent in it.

Let's just say that the TV ... (Below threshold)

Let's just say that the TV show was called "Falafel Tales" and instead of lessons from the Bible, the characters referenced the Koran and the lessons it would impose. Now NBC wants that toned down and edited to fit their more secular programming line-up (they are, after all, NOT a religious channel).

Would you all be making the same protests against a decision like that?

"There's a fine li... (Below threshold)
"There's a fine line of universally accepted religious values," he said. "We don't get too specific with any particular religious doctrine or any particular religious denomination."

Unless, of course, it shows Christians or Christianity in a bad light. "The Book of Daniel" puts the lie to their statement.

Let's see, references to God are edited out of a children's show where almost every story comes from the Old Testament where Jews, Muslims and Christians can all agree (for the most part). And yet, they tried to run a series where an Episcopal minister has a family life that would make Ozzy Osborne blush and talks to a hippie Jesus, but I guess that's not too specific to any one religion or denomination.

I call bullshit on NBC.

LissaKay,Depends. W... (Below threshold)

Depends. What parts of the Koran? The ones that encourage killing the infidels? Sex with 9 year olds? Yeah, I'd support keeping those off the air.

There is a huge upside to t... (Below threshold)

There is a huge upside to this. The exposure of Veggie Tales on TV will explode the sales of their videos, which NBC will have no opportunity to edit. (You folks with young kids will know what I'm talking about.)

I only worry about the lawsuits for the unsuspecting parents who will cringe at the references to God. Then the ACLU will probably push for large warning labels on the video covers.

"This Video contains explicit references to God and other Christian themes."

Maybe its time to edit out ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Maybe its time to edit out the peacock slice and dice the NBC peacock and serve it with plenty of veggies and besides most of these rotten TV producers are secular fanatics just look at the infamous NORMAN LEAR






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