In the wake of controversy over a cameraman having an LGBT Pride flag on set of the popular Christian TV series “The Chosen,” the driving force behind the show has posted a video to clarify his stance on the matter.
As WND reported last week, images of the three-inch flag promoting homosexuality and transgenderism were visible on a camera in a behind-the-scenes video as filming continues for the fourth season of the crowdfunded program bringing the Gospels to life.
Can you explain why there’s a Pride flag on set? pic.twitter.com/U8WUsXgOHW
— Jon Root (@JonnyRoot_) May 29, 2023
On Sunday, Dallas Jenkins, the show’s creator and director, responded to the subsequent uproar from some Christians who saw the flag as an endorsement of the LGBT agenda.
“I’m communicating to you, the potentially confused viewer. I’m just giving you clarity and even if we disagree, the disagreement should be about accuracy and the correct things,” Jenkins began.
“To be clear, there is no flag flown. A three-inch flag doesn’t fly anyway. And there’s been no statement made by ‘The Chosen’ about Pride or Pride Month or anything like that. There’s no promotion of anything happening, unlike some of the headlines and some of the hysterical rantings we’ve seen.”
“This turned into a bit of a culture war, a kind of an intra-Christian culture war and we’re getting compared to companies that actively promote whatever woke agenda that people are concerned about.”
Jenkins indicated having the flag there on the set was “nothing new.”
“For a long time, our cast and crew have wildly different beliefs. They run the spectrum, and they sometimes wear T-shirts or hats that go across the entire spectrum from a Pride flag or a MAGA hat or a Jesus Saves shirt. And no one’s been triggered. No one minds,” he explained.
“Our personal policy has always been that we don’t police individual workspaces or social media. So when we bring on independent contractors like our cast and crew … we do not have a religious or political litmus test for who we hire and we also do not police individuals’ social media or their own personal workspaces, like their own gear, their own equipment, their own T-shirts.”
“In fact, when we filmed the feeding of the 5,000,” he continued, “one of our crewmembers had this Pride flag on his own personal equipmemt then, too. So there’s nothing for us to do about this. Because I don’t change my mind based on responses.”
“If this issue bothers you, that’s fine, but that’s not really something for us to be concerned with or try to change. You don’t like my philosophy on personal workspaces on my set? OK. Again, like I said, this is not the first time and I just don’t make decisions based on disagreements or how people might respond.”
Jenkins then listed several points for people to remember.
“No. 1, and this is very important: we are not a church, we are not a non-profit. We’re not a ministry, we’re not any kind of a religious or political organization. Now the content itself can be ministerial, of course. And even the term ‘Christian production,’ I’ve heard that thrown around. … I’m not exactly sure what that term means, to be honest. Now don’t let that scare you. Can a production be Christian? The content can of course. We’re a show about Christ. So we’re probably one of the most Christian content in history because we are about Christ, who is in the word Christian. But the production itself, the equipment, the crew, the team, the set …
“We don’t have any kind of corporate policy about statements of faith or anything like that. We don’t have corporate prayer on our set. And we have all kinds employees … There’s no off-set clauses, like off the set this is how you have to behave.”
“Strangers to the show or people online who keep saying The Chosen Inc. is a ministry or a church or should be like one, that doesn’t necessarily make it true. ….
“It’s just important for you to remember that we are a for-profit, public company as of now, and because of that we might run things a little differently than you would and we certainly run things differently than a church or non-profit or a ministry.”
“Second important point,” Jenkins added, “Solomon built the Holy Temple, I mean this is the Holy Temple of God. And the labor and the materials, many of them came from what’s described in the Bible as pagans, pagan nations, pagan workers. He got help.”
Jenkins then brought up production of the Bible itself.
“When a Bible is printed, do you think that the people who print the Bible, the people who deliver the Bible are all of the same faith? Very likely not. And so our philosophy has been that if Solomon can work with people on a Holy Temple with people who disagree with him, then so can we. …
“To be clear, I know you’re saying, some of you are saying, ‘Yes, we’re OK with you working with people of different faiths, but we’re not OK with them promoting something, their own agenda on set,’ and that’s fair if you disagree with that. …
“We don’t find that anyone on our cast or crew are actively pushing anything in our face or are saying things on set that are difficult or offensive.”
Another point Jenkins, a political libertarian, mentioned is that “Oftentimes the roles have been reversed.”
“I’ve seen it also where Christians aren’t allowed to express themselves at work or on sports teams or when bosses force their employees to wear a certain thing, put on a patch, line up for some certain cause, or resist one of their employees doing it,” he said.
“And I would imagine that if YOU were an employee at a place that had different beliefs than you do, and you wanted to show up and have a crucifix or a Jesus Saves sticker or something on your own personal workspace, and they said ‘No, you can’t do that, I don’t want you do that, you’re triggering someone else’ … you would, I imagine, be not happy with that. … And I would agree with that. I don’t like that either. I think that’s wrong.”
Jenkins also stressed: “I’m not an atheist, and neither is the production company an atheist. But I’m happy to work with those who are if they are working hard for the show. And I don’t police their social media, my company won’t make any kind of formal statement about atheism or speaking out against atheism. Any disagreements I have with them would be discussed privately in the context of relationship and love. The content of my show speaks for itself.”
Regarding his own belief, Jenkins said: “I’m not a Catholic. Neither is The Chosen Inc. Catholic. I’m not a Mormon. Neither is The Chosen Inc. Mormon. I’m not a Buddhist or any other non-Christian religion. I’m not a liberal … and neither is The Chosen Inc.
“I don’t celebrate Pride, I don’t celebrate Pride Month, I don’t celebrate the Pride flag. If I wore a shirt, it would probably say ‘Humility’ on it, just because pride has gotten me in trouble. … As an evangelical conservative, I’m actually probably a minority on our set.”
Reaction to Jenkins’ video has been mixed, with comments both for and against his personal message, including:
“The message stands! We knew from the beginning and you have been very transparent from the beginning about your cast and crew! God can work through everyone wether they believe in him or not! God is good! Your show is amazing!”
“This reminds me of being a Christian teacher working in public schools with non believers that are my students and co-workers. I love the response that differences can be talked about in relationship out of love. We need more of that.”
“As Christians, we can not turn a blind eye to this issue. I LOVED this series so much that my husband tried to keep me from seeing this news. He knew my heart would break because I couldn’t continue to support it. Jesus indeed used sinners, as we all are, but His message of repentance was clear. He never said we should ignore sin or accept it as human nature. ‘Luke 17:3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him.’ No repentance was proffered. Just excuses.”
“It goes to show all of us followers of Jesus Christ how far and deep the devil and the demons have penetrated men’s and women’s lives in our society.”
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