“Could there be a Bible-reading preacher on a show who is actually loving and kind?” the “Office” alum tweeted. “Most Christians I know are kind, accepting and loving and strive to make the world a better place. They should be respected in the media as well.”
Rainn Wilson wants to have the last word on religion in HBO’s The Last of Us.
The “Office” alum voiced last Sunday’s episode of the record-breaking HBO series, which aired at the same time as the 2023 Oscars on March 12. The episode features a group of cannibals led by a man who appears to be a Christian preacher; the group quotes Bible verses to defend their actions, while preacher David also tries to attack the main character, Ellie (Bella Ramsey).
“I believe there is an anti-Christian bias in Hollywood,” Wilson tweeted. “As soon as the character David in ‘The Last of Us’ started reading from the Bible, I knew he was going to be a terrible villain. Could there be a Bible-reading preacher on a show who is actually loving and kind?”
Wilson is not pushing some right-wing agenda. It’s far from it. It points to divisions, whether from the left or the right. He went on to tweet: “Here are some funny things about anti-Christian bias in Hollywood. My review (of “The Last of Us”) was picked up by Fox News as a front page story. Talk about bias. An organization created as a corporate shill, creating a division solely for profit based on culture war outrage. Print it!”
He continued, “And I’m not even a Christian. Of course, it is true that the evangelical/political coalition is doing a lot of harm to our country. Banning books – banning liberties – denying uncomfortable science, using a grotesque anti-LGBTQ+ platform… But most Christians I know are kind and accepting and loving and strive to make the world a better place. They should also be respected in the media.”
Christian leaders agreed with Wilson on the comments, with LIBRE Initiative President Daniel Garza responding, “Defamation of Christianity has become the weirdest and most tired cliché in movie/TV storylines. Its prevalence is much more than a bias against an entire people, its purpose is to undermine faith and portray the worldly minded as only altruistic.
Wilson is a member of the Baha’i Faith. The actor said earlier Religion Unplugged that his religion is about coming together regardless of faith.
“It doesn’t matter what your belief system is, we can come together and pray,” Wilson said. “We have Jews, born-again Christians and agnostics who bring poetry. Sometimes we just do a simple meditation and say some Bahá’í prayers and read some things from the Bible and the Koran.”
“The Last of Us” was previously criticized by conservative leader Ben Shapiro for having a strange storyline in the third episode starring Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman. Shapiro called the series “Brokeback Zombie Farm” in reference to the movie “Brokeback Mountain”.
“It’s about two gay guys who meet and have a relationship where one grows strawberries for the other, and then they die because they weren’t killed by zombies,” Shapiro said. “Everything is very well done and the footage is beautiful. But here’s the problem with Brokeback Zombie Farm: it’s a zombie show. There are no zombies in this entire episode. There are no zombies in a zombie show. This is worth highlighting. It has literally nothing to do with the plot of the show.”
“Father Stu” star Mark Wahlberg also spoke out about the “anti-Christian bias in Hollywood” cited by fellow actor Wilson, and said he was determined to dedicate the rest of his career to faith-based storytelling.
“I don’t want to push it down anyone’s throat, but I don’t deny my faith. That’s an even greater sin,” Wahlberg said. “You know, it’s not popular in my profession, but you know, I can’t deny my faith.” It’s important to me to share this with people. I have friends from all walks of life and all faiths and religions, so it’s important to honor and respect them too.”
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