Nationally syndicated DJ Russ Parr may be a beloved radio personality, but he isolated a sector of the faith-based community with his 2012 film, The Undershepherd. “I took a little heat” he told Sister 2 Sister Magazine for his depiction of African-American Baptist Ministers’ greed, adultery, reckless ambition and debauchery.
“I was trying to speak my truth, not necessarily the universal truth of religion,” said the Russ Parr Morning Show host in his own defense. Yet, some felt his portrayal of the Black Church was ungodly, disrespectful and unforgiving.
The plot follows best friends LC (Isaiah Washington) and Roland (Lamman Rucker), two young men of God, climbing the ranks at the First Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Dr. Ezekial Canon (Bill Cobbs), the church’s elderly pastor.
Roland and LC have dreams of becoming the predecessors of the aging pastor. But, the feeble Dr. Canon stubbornly refuses to step down, forcing the two young ministers to make pivotal decisions that ultimately fray the fabric of their deeply-woven friendship.
Washington is particularly cruel, caring only about his personal advancement, wealth and self-fulfillment. The cold-hearted preacher is shown abusing his wife, cheating on her and even at one point claiming with a chilling disposition, “I am God.”
The highly melodramatic and overly sensationalized film, while a bit of a stretch, was enough for some devout Christians to take it personally, as an egregious offense against the sanctity of the church.
Despite the heartless portrayal, Parr told the Tri-State Defender News that he used to be “really invested into the church and the church I was going to.”
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SOURCE: EEW Magazine