Despite Crudeness, Some Critics Say ‘Black Jesus’ Is an Honest and Accessible Portrayal of Christian Savior

Gerald "Slink" Johnson plays Jesus in the Adult Swim live-action comedy series "Black Jesus." Here, he stands in a soon-to-be community garden. (PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ADULT SWIM)
Gerald “Slink” Johnson plays Jesus in the Adult Swim live-action comedy series “Black Jesus.” Here, he stands in a soon-to-be community garden.
(PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ADULT SWIM)

But Does Aaron McGruder’s Comedy Series, a Hit With Young Males, Have the Potential to Draw Viewers to Christ?

“Black Jesus,” a live-action comedy series airing on Adult Swim, drew swift condemnation before its premiere in early August. Some Christians, after viewing a three-minute trailer, blasted Aaron McGruder’s satirical portrayal of their lord and savior as a weed-smoking, foul-mouthed black man living in Compton, California. Some among the “violently offended” called “Black Jesus” blasphemous, disrespectful to African Americans, and just all around a bad idea.

But others, who have viewed more than the trailer that sparked much of the hullabaloo, say “Black Jesus” is not all that bad — and certainly not worth mounting a boycott against, as some ticked off Christians have called for.

McGruder is known for his unapologetically aggressive and satirical comic-turned-animated series “The Boondocks.” He is executive producer of “Black Jesus,” with Mike Clattenberg (“Trailer Park Boys”) directing and as well as joining McGruder and Mike O’Neill as writers.

“Black Jesus” features a towering, long-haired Gerald “Slink” Johnson in the title role. He hangs out with a small ne’er–do–well but loyal crew that he gets high with, appears to mooch off of and inspires to do good deeds — like building a community garden (where they can also grow marijuana). But behind the cloud of weed smoke and detonated f-bombs, Slink’s Jesus comes across as sincere in his mission to spread love and kindness, shows the utmost faith in his heavenly father, and is eager for his crew and Compton Garden neighbors to shed their vain, coveting and selfish ways.

“It’s not a preachy show, but Jesus preaches all the time, because he’s Jesus,” McGruder told a reporter on the set of a “Black Jesus” shoot. “And as much as it may seem to be a completely upside-down depiction, the more we do it, the more it feels honest, sincere and actually grounded in what Jesus is supposed to be about. It’s only because this story has been hijacked for so long, that the idea of Jesus as an actual poor person seems crazy. So really this is a show about people who are just like anyone else, except they don’t have s—. And in many ways, Jesus’ message is that you don’t need s—, you just need love and kindness.”

Admirable. But at least one New York City resident wasn’t buying it.

“The first thought that came to my mind is, ‘OK, here again the world is making fun of God.’ But then Jesus said not everybody would accept him, you know,” a woman named Betty told The Christian Post. She shared her views with CP at the site of a “Black Jesus” mural-styled ad on the exterior of a building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one of NYC’s five boroughs.

“Even though Jesus came to save the world, Jesus did say that not everybody would accept him. And he did also say that people would use his name in all kinds of ways,” added Betty, who did not provide her last name.

Taking a final look at the mural, she declared, “It looks like buffoonery.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Christian Post
Nicola Menzie

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