A Charlie Brown Christmas, a recent holiday tradition with strong Christian undertones, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on ABC Family last night. The program suffered low ratings, as it has for the past few years, but that is not what has upset many watchdog groups that frantically blew their whistles shortly after the start of the 50th premiere.
Before the opening scene and after every commercial break, ABC Family used a disclaimer warning audiences of potentially "offensive and dangerous" religious content found in the dialogue of the program, similar to the disclaimers seen on adult shows that warn viewers of graphic content or strong language. The disclaimer in question for Charlie Brown read: "WARNING: This program contains strong Christian messages and may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion advised."
The disclaimer was admittedly a compromise solution by ABC Family, who in the past had openly objected to the Christian messages in the program, but was forced nonetheless to air the program uncensored under the pressure from its audiences. Thus, the 'trigger warning' was added allegedly out of fear of offending or upsetting those audiences who did not demand to see the show.
An ABC Family representative explained their decision by the company's concern that the Christian messages may inspire young and impressionable viewers to leave their friends and family to join an extremist Christian cult, or it may emotionally traumatize them due to the blatant bigotry of the religious zeal of the animated cast.
Sarah Langston, a public relations representative for the ABC channel released a statement responding to the critics who claim that the warnings were absurd and uncalled for.
"We at ABC Family have been struggling with the aging Christian conservative demographic for a while now," the statement said. "Despite our better judgement we allowed the program to air unedited, leaving all the old-fashioned Christian propaganda intact, and yet they continue to be unhappy, allegedly due to the fair and clearheaded warnings we inserted in order to give a heads-up to those viewers who may be upset or disturbed by the content."
Despite the retaliation by Christian groups, ABC Family has no plans to remove the disclaimers for future viewings on their channel.
Kapitan Kangaroo KourtThat brings a whole new meaning to mooning.
Or, it brings a whole new meaning to "Moonies." It's the new Moonie cult.
Sanders promises to fundamentally transform the Moon
Snopes: Warning Fable
No, the Charlie Brown Christmas special didn't air with "Christian content warnings."
They did it in a half-assed way, though - debunking someone's deleted Facebook post that linked to a repost of our story at ReviveUSA.com, which clearly marks it as a parody, and not even mentioning the People's Cube, even though ReviveUSA.com explicitly links to us and the image used by Snopes also has our stamp. They don't even pretend to do any real research now, it seems.
Anyway, the post at ReviveUSA.com was shared over 10,000 times and gave us a lot of traffic, so thanks for that, whoever you are!
‘A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS’ AIRS WITH TRIGGER WARNINGS (PARODY)
Hey comrades, do you know what time it is? Time to post another Current Truth about Snopes. Coming soon!