Thank God (Or The Fat Guy In The Nappy)

By Rob Last edited 166 months ago
Thank God (Or The Fat Guy In The Nappy)

The BBC have decided not to uphold the 55,000 complaints they received over the screening of Jerry Springer - The Opera earlier this year.

You can read the full Governor's report here (PDF document). But it's nine pages long, so here's some of the 'highlights'.

A breakdown of the main 'sticking points':

• The portrayal of “Jesus” as a man in nappies who wanted to “poop in his pants”.

• the reference to “Jesus” being “a little bit gay".

• “Eve” attempting to fondle the genitals of “Jesus”.

• the description of “Mary” as “raped by an angel, raped by God”.

• the portrayal of “Mary” as accusing “Jesus” of neglect.

• obscene language put into the mouths of members of the Holy Family.

• the portrayal of “Jesus” as offering violence.

• irreverent visual and verbal allusions to the crucifixion.

• the portrayal of “God” as needing Jerry Springer’s advice.

As we all know, the press claims that there were 8,000 expletives in the performance was entitely untrue. The BBC knows because they counted:

The reported figure was in fact a vast exaggeration. In reality, there were around 200 f-words and nine c-words. While a substantial number, this was not necessarily unacceptable in terms of late night terrestrial television.

Nevertheless, some use of swearing was extreme and shocking (for example, Satan threatens Jerry with being "f***ed up the ass with barbed wire").

But how did they get away with references such as "f***ing Pope" and "raped by an angel... raped by God"?

Well because, like Dallas, it was all a dream:

Most (but not all) members noted that the religious portrayal was contained in Jerry’s nightmare vision, and hence felt the portrayal was different than had it been a literal portrayal.

What we found particularly interesting was the discussion of the play's 'artistic merit' (you get to be more offensive if you're 'artistically exceptional' you see):

One member of the Committee disagreed, and that while accepting that others had judged it an exceptional piece of work in the theatre, felt that Jerry Springer - the Opera did not translate well onto television.

And we have to say that we agree, we were pretty bored by the whole thing.

In the end, the complaints were not upheld by a majoirity of four to one...but the most interesting thing about the report (for us anyway)

was the revelation that the body which advises Offom and the BBC on religious matter is called the the Central Religious Advisory Committee...or CRAC for short.

Last Updated 30 March 2005