NBC TV is pondering what to do about rock singer Madonna's upcoming TV special on the network. A video of the middle-aged pop star's latest concert will be broadcast on the network in November. The problem: Madonna sings one song, "Live to Tell," while suspended on a cross, bound by silver cuffs and wearing a crown of thorns.
Catholic and Orthodox church groups have protested the spectacle. Madonna defends it by saying that it is not "anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous." She says that in fact Jesus himself would be just like her if he were here today: "It is no different than a person wearing a cross or 'taking up the cross' as it says in the Bible. Rather, it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would be doing the same thing."
At that time, I cited an E! Online article reporting that NBC would probably air the scene, quoting NBC President Kevin Reilly as telling TVGuide.com "several weeks ago that the scene will probably stay put because Madonna 'felt strongly about it' and considers it a highlight of her show."
NBC has apparently changed course under pressure from groups concerned about the scene. As the AFA's "Action Alert" put it:
AFA supporters have won a great victory! The efforts of AFA Online supporters has forced NBC to cancel a scene in the upcoming Madonna special in which she mocks the crucifixion of Christ!
More than 750,000 AFA supporters emailed NBC asking for the scene to be deleted from the special which is scheduled to air in November. NBC saw a potential loss of $25,000,000 and decided to edit out the scene.
We were effective because we stuck together and combined our voices. Our supporters not only emailed NBC, but they also called their local NBC stations. Those stations contacted NBC and the network listened. The scene is gone!