The Catholic Bishop of Tyler, Texas joined the more than one million people denouncing Netflix after it released a satirical religious comedy depicting Jesus as a gay man.
The film, titled “The First Temptation of Christ,” premiered on Netflix Brazil on Dec. 3 and has since sparked a ton of controversy online for its satire that paints Jesus as a closeted homosexual on Christmas. Bishop Joseph Strickland joined the many Catholic voices deriding the film on social media.
“Just cancelled Netflix….hardly have time to watch it anyway but blasphemers don’t deserve a penny of support!” he wrote in a tweet Sunday.
Prior to that, he spoke more about the film while retweeting “Dear America” podcast host Graham Allen’s thoughts.
“Respect is the last thing they are thinking about, every Christian should denounce this film, it is blasphemy against the Son of God who suffered & died even for all who deny that He is Lord of the Universe,” Strickland tweeted. “His prayer for them…. ‘Father forgive them they know not what they do.’”
As of Monday morning, more than 1.76 million people signed a petition calling on Netflix to do something about the 46-minute holiday special after it seriously offended many Christians viewers. “The First Temptation of Christ” sees Jesus and a friend named Orlando arrive at Mary and Joseph’s house where they’ve thrown a birthday party for their son, according to the New York Daily News. Jesus attempts to downplay his relationship with Orlando, who constantly hints that they’re more than just friends.
According to Fox News, Representatives for Netflix declined to comment when contacted.
The outlet reports that the comedy group Porta dos Fundos is responsible for the special, which actually marks their second religious satire following “The Last Hangover,” which depicts Jesus’ disciples looking for him on the morning after the Last Supper. They recently earned an International Emmy Award for best comedy web television special for “The Last Hangover.”
Porta dos Fundos remains undeterred, however. Per Yahoo Entertainment, they posted a tweet linking to a different petition calling for its removal from Netflix and blasted their own comedy special as “tragic and sad.”
“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country,” the group said in a statement to the outlet.