A conservative Christian women's group said Tuesday that "Saturday Night Live" intended to "degrade and taunt" with a video short that appeared on last weekend's show called "DJesus Uncrossed" — a faux Quentin Tarantino revenge film starring a resurrected Jesus Christ.
The group said the late-night show wouldn't dare be that irreverent with Islam.
"SNL has, of course, always enjoyed their ability to offend in the past, but at least one could count on them to have the nerve to take on everyone equally," Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance said in a statement.
The skit played on many of the familiar tropes of Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" and "Django Unchained," and featured "SNL" host and Tarantino regular Christoph Waltz portraying Christ. In the video, Christ is depicted with a crown of thorns and cross strapped to his back, seeking revenge on the Roman soldiers and officials who tried and executed him.
Nance said the show "stooped to a new low."
"Unfortunately, they crossed the Rubicon from the clever, irreverent show of my youth to a stagnant, predictable troupe that often relies on shock to make up for a gross lack of creativity. Too bad," Nance said. "What they fail to recognize is that Christians can laugh at ourselves — and do so often — when the joke is funny. But SNL's treatment of us and others in recent years is meant to degrade and taunt."
Nance also objected to the decision to air the skit during Lent, saying producers went "out of their way to mock Jesus Christ and Christianity during our most important religious season."
The group, which promotes Biblical vaclues and familiy traditions and counts half a million members nationwide, went on to urge members to complain to the show's advertisers.
"The First Amendment protects their right to offend, and it also protects our right to complain to NBC and the advertisers that sponsor SNL," Nance said. "Funny how that works both ways."
"Saturday Night Live," for its part, seemed unconcerned with the controversy. On Sunday, lead writer Seth Meyers tweeted a link to the extended "director's cut" of the sketch and thanked the show's "incredible film unit."