Last month some executives at the BBC received death threats for the decision to air “Jerry Springer, The Opera.”
Leading the protest to the programming of this show was a group called Christian Voice.
Ticket sales of the show went up because of the controversy.
Now it appears the head of Christian Voice told a charity that the show raised money for it would not be in their best interest to receive tainted money from the performers who staged a charity performance of the show.
Maggie’s Centres, based in Scotland, was to have used the money to help establish a nationwide network of units for cancer sufferers and their families. But, a phone call from the Christian Voice group led the charity to fear a religious boycott of its fundraising activities if it accepted the cash.
It is the latest move in a continuing campaign against the musical, which has been targeted by campaigners who claim the show is blasphemous. There were days of protest outside the BBC when it was screened last month. Christian Voice gained notoriety after it circulated home addresses and telephone numbers of senior BBC figures. Some of those on the list received threatening calls warning of “bloodshed”.
The production ended it’s run in London last night, and will start a national tour in the fall.
The decision to reject the cash came after the leader of Christian Voice told the charity it should not upset religious followers. Stephen Green, the national director of Christian Voice, confirmed he had contacted the charity and informed organisers they might benefit more financially if they refused the donation.
He said: “We did have a chat with the people at Maggie’s but the decision to pull out was theirs alone. All I did was explain that if they carried on they would cause offence to Christians, who are known for being generous, and they would probably do far better to forgo the few thousand pounds they would get out of the performance.
“It is offensive and you do have very, very many people with terminal cancer who draw comfort from their Christian faith - to know that the money was coming from a production like this just wouldn’t be right. I applaud the charity for the way they have recognised this with sensitivity and feeling. By refusing to accept this tainted money, Maggie’s Centres have set an example of ethical behaviour which is rare in Britain today.”
I wonder if Christian Voice supporters would care to step up to the plate and donate 20 thousand pounds?
Considering the death threats some supporters sent to the BBC staff, would this organizations money be ‘tainted’?