I will never forget when Zena Dell Schroeder, representing "Act One: Writing for Hollywood," approached the podium at the Colorado Christian Writer's Conference and posed two questions to the audience. "How many of you," she asked, "have seen something questionable come out of Hollywood recently?"
It has been several years since Ms. Schroeder keynoted at that conference, but even today when I think of her and that first question, a bunch of examples leap to my mind. Last season I remember several episodes (three, I think) of NBC's Law & Order had Christian characters. The normally professional cop-characters and lawyer-characters not only spoke to the Christians with uncharacteristic scorn, in every episode you could bet the bad-guy murderer was either the Pastor or the Pastor's gay son. And why is it whenever a Hollywood script quotes Scripture it still uses the King James Version with all the thee's and thou's? Have they never heard of the New International Version?
Then there's FOX's House. A recent episode showed a Christian rape victim refusing to abort (because it's a life, because abortion is wrong)...until the end of the show when she did what Dr. House recommended (and what everyone seemed to think was the obvious and best choice). She "terminated."
TNT's new show Heartland featured Treat Williams' unfaithful character sleeping with his estranged ex-wife...until his girlfriend walked in and he made some lame excuse for being in bed with his wife.
And if you've seen Holly Hunter in TNT's Saving Grace, it's pretty raw with Grace romping in bed with a married co-worker (who says he really needs to stop being unfaithful to his wife) almost continually and standing in front of her window naked so the neighbor man can enjoy the view. The character Grace freely boasts about sleeping with pretty much everyone.
(And about that tobacco-spitting angel on Saving Grace with the big white wings named Earl... I once heard that the angel in Touch by an Angel was originally going to be a cigarette smoking, foul-mouthed, whatever-whatever with wings until someone convinced the show's creators to tame him down to a more Biblical view of the heavenly beings. When I first saw Earl, I had to wonder if this is the creator-of-the-original-Touched-angel's-idea revisited. I have no way of knowing, but I wonder.)
I could go on, but I'm sure you have a list of your own.
When Zena Dell Schroeder asked that first question, I'm pretty sure nearly every one of the more than two hundred conferees in the auditorium raised a hand. Me included.
Then she asked the second question: "How many of you have prayed for Hollywood recently?"
Uh-oh. Suddenly the room was very quiet. I didn't see one hand go up. No one moved. Me included.
What about you? Do you see questionable material coming out of Hollywood? Do you wish you could make a difference there? If Christians are going to make a difference in what comes out of Hollywood, the place we must start is with prayer.
However... some people are already way ahead of us. Some Christians have been praying for Hollywood for a long time, and there are ways you can join them.
Others are doing what comes next...after prayer prepares the way. There are incredibly exciting things going on in Hollywood right now, and we're already seeing the results in movie theatres and on TV. And Act One (now known as Act One, Inc., http://www.actoneprogram.com/) is playing a major role.
There's good news coming out of Hollywood! This month, I'll let you know about some of the exciting things I've heard about that are happening in Hollywood.