Fantasy miniseries Good Omens was met with rave reviews from critics and fans alike, all except 20,000 odd Christians who signed a petition to have the show removed for promoting “blasphemy”.
The salty group addressed the petition to Netflix, which is fine and all but the problem is that Netflix doesn’t air Good Omens, Amazon Prime Video does.
So the petition is basically null and void (in more ways than one).
“This series presents devils and Satanists as normal and even good, where they merely have a different way of being, and mocks God’s wisdom,” the petition reads.
The petitioners’ took issue with several aspects of the show including the fact that God is voiced by a woman, the Antichrist is portrayed as a normal kid and the four riders of the Apocalypse are portrayed as a group of bikers.
“Please sign our petition, telling Netflix that we will not stand silent as they destroy the barriers of horror we still have for evil.”
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) June 19, 2019
Perhaps by divine intervention, I was scheduled to interview one of the show’s stars, comedic genius Nick Offerman just as news of the religious flub went live.
So naturally I asked the actor for his thoughts on the hilarious gaff.
“God bless their dear hearts,” was his initial response. “I think it’s hilarious that they didn’t even send it to the people that made it.”
Offerman plays Thaddeus Dowling, the U.S. Ambassador and father of Warlock.
“On a more serious note, it all points to the dilemma facing our civilisation which is, if they watch the show or read the book, they would see that the demon character, played by David Tennant, is made out to be someone who has become a little bit human and the sensibility of the story is at the heart of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s writing which is that maybe if we give everybody a chance to get along, the world could be a better place.”
He adds, “Instead of focusing on the battle between good and evil, we should cop to the fact that we all have an angel and a demon within us which I believe, to my interpretation, is what the Christian writings were talking about. I was raised Catholic and I was given an understanding that there weren’t actually mystical fantasy creatures, I don’t believe we were supposed to take that literally.”
“So I think it’s kind of embarrassing.”
Credit: Good Omens / Amazon
On the topic of religious hypocrisy, Offerman brought up a few serious U.S. issues like abortion rights, the death penalty and the separation of children from their parents at the border.
“It’s sort of like the Christians in America that are screaming about pro life issues while supporting the death penalty,” he said. “It’s proprietary Christian behaviour that’s locking up kids in cages, it’s yet another embarrassment that is tunnel-minded far-right thinking.”
Speaking directly to the people who signed the petition, he says: “I think it could simply be addressed by saying to signers of the petition, ‘Yes, you are illustrating exactly what the book is about. Perhaps the solution to your petition is that you should give the book a read.’”
Good Omens is now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.